July 13, 2018 / 3:01 AM / 10 months ago

German union calls for strike by workers at Metro's Real hypermarkets

FRANKFURT, July 13 (Reuters) - Labour union Verdi has called on 34,000 workers at Metro’s Real hypermarkets in Germany to strike on Friday in protest over a wage agreement that it said would result in 23 percent lower pay for new hires.

“We are fighting for wages that you can live on,” Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzenberger said.

Having given up on efforts to agree a wage deal with Verdi for workers at the struggling Real chain after two years of talks, Metro had sought an alternative agreement through the AHD employers’ association, saying it needed to achieve competitive personnel costs.

Verdi criticised the move, saying that Metro was trying to get out of commitments made on job security and investments while paying new hires less and doing away with extra pay for night shifts and Christmas bonuses.

In its financial year to Sept. 30 Metro’s 282 Real outlets posted a 3.1 percent decline in sales and a 24 percent drop in operating profit. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan Editing by Arno Schuetze)

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