Riva Brandenburg workers reach agreement, other sites strike

While Riva’s mill in Brandenburg has now agreed to adopt to the German collective wage agreement, its two processing sites in western Germany in Trier and Horath are still gripped by a strike. They entered the third round of negotiations on Monday.

Rebar mill Brandenburger Elektro-Stahlwerke (BES) had until late July not implemented the wage increases agreed in the collective bargaining talks in eastern Germany in February. The mill faced three full-day strikes which, according to union IG Metall, caused a production loss of €6.6 million ($7.4m). The union was just about ready to launch a strike vote for a full-on strike when the agreement was reached in the last week of July.

“The management has finally given in,” the union says. According to spokesman Michael Ebener, BES was the only German mill in the wake of the collective wage talks early this year that kept refusing to adopt to the results of the talks. Notably, Riva’s other mill, HES in Hennigsdorf near Berlin, did adopt to the new wages without delay.

Meanwhile, the strike at Riva’s wire mesh manufacturing sites in Trier and Horath has been going on for eight weeks now, Ebener informed Kallanish during Monday’s negotiations in Frankfurt. He noted that workers from the sites had even travelled to Riva’s headquarters in Milan to protest.