Germany: For the first time ever “Warning Strike” in the pencil industry

06 June 2019 05:59


5 June 2019: Workers in the Pencil Industry went on a “Warning Strike” today for the first time. In doing so, IG Metall has sent a strong signal to employers who want to refuse the good industrial collective agreement that would benefit workers. IG Metall is fighting for more appreciation for lower wage groups.

Today, for the first time ever, workers in the pencil industry are participating in a warning strike. In all five companies that are part of the sectorial collective bargaining for the pencil industry, the IG Metall called workers to temporarily stop working.

The focus is in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg. "The workers are ready to fight for a good collective bargaining agreement, which is a strong signal to employers who want to refuse them," says Johann Horn, district manager of IG Metall Bayern.

The IG Metall demands a pay rise of 5 percent, and at least a minimum increase of 150 euro, for a period of twelve months. The apprentices should also benefit disproportionately from the wage increases. However, employers have rejected a disproportionate wage increase for the lower wage groups. They have only offered 1.8 percent and in a second stage 1.6 percent more money for a period of 24 months.

Carsten Kuttnik, negotiator for IG Metall Bavaria, stated, "This offer in the amount of the price increase is an impudence. And, especially the workers in the lower wage groups deserve more appreciation. This must also be visible in the pay check.”

The collective bargaining agreement for the pencil industry includes the pencil manufacturers Faber-Castell, Schwan-Stabilo and Lyra, which together employ around 3,400 workers. Schwan Stabilo has two locations in Heroldsberg and Weißenburg with about 2,200 workers. Faber Castell has two locations in Stein and Geroldsgrün with around 1,100 workers. Lyra has a location in Nuremberg with almost 100 employees. The warning strikes took place in all locations on 5 June 2019.

The German version of the article in the IG Metall news at the following link: