October 29, 2020

The run-up to the 2021 collective bargaining negotiations in the metal and electrical industry

Background situation

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the metal and electrical industry into a recession and a deep crisis. To achieve the pre-corona economic level in the course of 2022 would be very optimistic at best. companies are reducing their headcounts both in Germany and abroad.

Possible starting bargaining position of the IG-Metall union

Despite the recession, the IG-Metall union is expected to ask for a wage increase for its members.

-Additionally, a shorter work week (4 days a week) with a „certain salary adjustment“ is being mentioned. Reduction in working hours in exchange for job protection has always been part of the collective bargaining tools.

-Jobs could also be protected through the („future agreements) or company specific collective bargaining agreements. This will require an acceptance of certain terms in the collective bargaining agreement. However, accepting mandatory terms in collective agreements must be rejected.

Starting bargaining position of the VBM

– A general agreement for everyone together with relief or variable options for many.

–The 2021 agreement must deliver effective collective bargaining policy support that:

– guarantees the continued viability of companies

– provides job security for the employees

As a result, more than ever before, the agreement must reflect the heterogenous situation of the companies. Important factors are reliefs for companies in the collective bargaining agreements differentiation modules for companies.

In addition, companies must be supported during the on-going crises and during the transformation process. The collective bargaining negotiations must not be protracted and must be free of conflict. The agreement must guarantee planning security. That requires a long lead-time.


– 09 November 2020: Recommendations from the Board of the IG-Metall regarding its demands

– 17 November 2020: Decisions of the regional collective bargaining commission regarding the demands of the Board of the IG-Metall union

– 26 November 2020: Resolution of the Board of the IG-Metall union

– 28 January 2021: End of the legal obligation not to strike


Benedikt Pentenrieder

Tarifrecht / -beratung

Benedikt Pentenrieder