From 2027 onward, textile workers in eastern Germany will be doing the same hours per week as workers in the west. The harmonisation will be implemented gradually in six steps. Through this process, the working week in the east will be reduced from 40 hours to 37. The working time harmonisation will, according to this agreement, happen faster in the textiles sector than in the automotive sector.

For IG Metall this result is an important milestone 30 years after the unification of east and west Germany.

The working time reduction comes in addition to a pay rise of altogether 6.2% in three steps for 36 months. Moreover, holiday money will also be gradually aligned with the west.

Another qualitative aspect of the agreement is a prolongation of the obligation textile companies have to take on apprentices after their education.

industriAll Europe General Secretary Luc Triangle underscored that this victory bridges the unfair gap between the east and the west as far as working conditions are concerned. Increased purchasing power combined with a fair alignment of working time are a great achievement. It is high time that workers are rewarded for their hard efforts and get their share of productivity gains.