The trade union Verdi is once again calling for nationwide strikes by retail, wholesale and foreign trade workers on Friday.

The focus of the industrial action will be on Ikea and Metro, as Verdi announced on Thursday. "Both companies have a great deal of weight in the employers' collective bargaining committees and are not making use of this," explained Verdi national executive Silke Zimmer. Rather, the two companies "have been blocking the whole time - this must finally stop after almost a year of stalemate". It is now important to seek solutions together at the negotiating table in order to reach a collective agreement.

Negotiations between the industry association HDE and Verdi have been deadlocked since the end of 2023. The parties to the conflict each blame the other side for this. The employers have presented offers that would mean that employees would effectively earn less money than two years ago, the union argues.

Verdi is demanding a 13 percent wage increase for wholesale and foreign trade over a period of twelve months, but at least 400 euros, and a 2.50 euro increase per hour for retail. According to the union, employers are offering eight percent for wholesale and foreign trade spread over 24 months and an inflation compensation bonus of 700 euros per collective bargaining year. In the retail sector, employers are offering six percent for 2023 and four percent for 2024 as well as a total inflation compensation bonus of 750 euros spread over two years.

(Report by Klaus Lauer; edited by Ralf Banser - If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at (for politics and the economy) or (for companies and markets)).