Again strikes in German dairy industry for higher wages

Several hundred employees of the Hochland dairy factory in Schongau, Germany, held a one-day strike at the beginning of this week. In that sting campaign, several hundred employees stopped work as part of a relay strike in the German dairy industry. 

There were also strikes at other Hochland locations and milk processing companies, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes at different times. A new round of Bavarian collective labor agreement negotiations is scheduled for Wednesday. 

Collective labor agreement negotiations are taking place in the German dairy industry, which are tied to a desired wage increase. In Würzburg, employees of a dairy factory also went on strike last week. Here the emphasis was not only on higher wages, but also on improving overall working conditions. 

Employees at companies such as Hochland and other dairies in Schongau, Kempten and Würzburg, among others, stopped work for several hours to demand higher wages and better working conditions. They demand a 12 percent pay increase, in addition to improved working conditions.

The food trade union NGG (Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten) plays a central role in these actions. The union points out that current wages are not in line with inflation and the rising cost of living in Germany.

Employers had offered a three percent pay increase this year and another two percent next year. But those with higher salaries would benefit more from this, the food union criticizes. Improvements are also needed for trainees: among other things, they should receive 100 euros more per month. 

Dairy employers have so far failed to respond to union and worker demands, keeping the situation tense. The NGG has announced that it will continue with the strikes until a satisfactory solution is reached. 

The strikes have been strategically planned and have already affected production processes within the affected companies. In some factories, more than 200 workers have taken part in the strikes, sending a clear message to employers about the seriousness of their demands.

Dairy employers have given mixed reactions to the strikes. While some are understanding workers' demands and willing to come to the table for further negotiations, others are reluctant and point to the economic challenges facing the sector.