* Unions to decide Feb. 6 whether to resume talks
* Unions seek 6.5 pct pay rise, E.ON offered 1.7 pct rise
(Adds detail, background)
FRANKFURT Feb 2 Trade union Verdi said workers
at Germany's top energy group E.ON have postponed a
strike planned from Monday Feb. 4, after a meeting with
management late on Friday.
Verdi, with mining union IG BCE, wants pay rises for 30,000
staff, for trainees to be taken on for at least 12 months after
passing their courses, and for 250 permanent jobs to be awarded
to successful trainees from 2015 onwards, among other demands.
The unions have argued that forecast-beating earnings and
net profit for the nine months to September would allow E.ON to
pay higher wages to its more than 73,000 staff.
They seek a 6.5 percent pay rise, while E.ON has offered 1.7
On Feb. 6 the unions will decide whether they will resume
negotiations with E.ON. Verdi said they had decided to postpone
the strike until Feb. 10, 2300 GMT.
E.ON said in a statement a short-term agreement with the
unions would be possible.
German utilities including E.ON, RWE and EnBW
aim to control costs as they struggle with weak demand
for electricity in Europe's economic slowdown, high gas prices
and the loss of some nuclear reactors after the government
decided to speed up Germany's exit from nuclear energy.
A growing supply of renewable power has cut into demand for
their conventional fossil fuel generation and increased the
volatility of wholesale power prices.
E.ON peer RWE still faces a possible strike after trade
unions earlier this week ended negotiations, saying no progress
was made regarding wage demands.
Unions at RWE are due to decide Tuesday whether or not to
take industrial action.
The E.ON strike would have been the first in the company's
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde, editing by William Hardy)