AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
FRANKFURT: Some 800,000 metalworkers in the German state of Bade-Wurtemberg won a 4.3 per cent pay rise in marathon negotiations, their union said Saturday, raising hopes that years of wage restraint are ending. The regional accord, the first to be signed in Germany this year, sets a benchmark for wage negotiations in other regions. Trade union IG Metall had demanded a rise of 6.5 per cent over 12 months, pressuring businesses in the sector with country-wide strikes since the end of April, notably by employees of Bosch, Siemens and Daimler. Wages had stagnated despite an inflation rate that stood at 2.1 per cent in April.
Iran asks to lift ban
TEHRAN: Iran on Saturday said sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme should be lifted in talks with world powers next week in Baghdad, but maintained the punitive measures would not compel it to abandon its atomic ‘rights’. Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that the lifting of sanctions would display ‘the first signs’ that the West is changing its ‘wrong’ approach towards Iran and its nuclear work. Mehmanparast reiterated Tehran’s assertion that sanctions have no legal basis, but admitted ‘no one in Iran is happy about it’ and that they ‘may cause problems’.
Tata Steel profit dives
MUMBAI: India’s Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest steelmaker, said that its quarterly net profit plunged 90 per cent from a year
earlier, hit by high input costs and falling demand in its key European market. Tata Steel reported consolidated net profit slid to IRs 4.33 billion ($80 million) for the three months to March from IRs 41.76 billion in the same period a year earlier. Sales
rose by just over one per cent to IRs 339 billion from IRs 338 billion reported a year go. “—