IG Metall says talks to resume in E. German dispute


BERLIN, June 23 (Reuters) - German engineering union IG Metall said on Monday it aimed to resume talks with employers from Thursday to resolve a dispute over working hours in east Germany but warned it may take measures in the west if no deal was reached by the weekend. IG Metall is fighting to cut the working week for east German engineering workers by three hours to match the west German standard of 35 hours.

Strikes by east German engineering workers have entered their fourth week, with IG Metall calling on 9,000 workers to down tools at nine factories in the eastern states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony on Monday.

IG Metall's vice-president Juergen Peters told German radio earlier on Monday that the union was ready to consider cutting the working week from 38 to 35 hours in stages and at varying speeds depending on the economic position of individual plants.

The strikes have hit major German carkers BMW and Volkswagen . BMW said the strike had stopped production at its Munich factory, where it builds 800 of its 3-Series cars per day and at Regensburg, where it makes 850 of the mid-sized cars. About 10,000 workers were affected. Volkswagen said it would have to halt production of its Golf and three-litre Lupo at its Wolfsburg plant on Friday due to a shortage of parts from eastern factories.



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