Germany wage pact

FRANKFURT: Unions and employers in Germany's powerful metalworking industry agreed a 4.8 per cent pay hike on Friday in a deal that will set the tone for wage negotiations in most other key sectors of Europe's biggest economy. In a so-called pilot agreement for the regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia — which will serve as a benchmark for all 3.8 million workers in the sector nationwide — employees will receive a one-off payment of 150 euros ($170) for the period from April to June 2016. They will then see their pay rise by 2.8 per cent on July 1 and again by two per cent in April 2017, the mighty labour union IG Metall said in a statement.