BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Ahead of the second round of collective bargaining for around 140,000 employees in private banks, the trade union Verdi has called on employers to make their own offer in the negotiations. "The profits of banking institutions have risen in recent years, while the purchasing power of employees has fallen at the same rate. This is rightly causing frustration," said Verdi negotiator Jan Duscheck on Sunday.

"The employees do not want a long hangover in this round of collective bargaining and have made this clear in recent days during actions and warning strikes," said Duscheck. Several thousand employees took part in the first warning strikes. The strikes also resulted in numerous store closures over the course of several days.

Verdi is demanding a 12.5 percent pay rise, but at least 500 euros per month and a 250 euro increase in monthly pay for junior staff. Verdi is also calling for negotiations to begin on the further development of working time regulations. The German Bank Employees' Association (DBV) wants to achieve an increase of 16 percent or at least 600 euros gross per month. The wage negotiations will continue this Monday in Berlin.

Employers say salary demands are clearly too high

Employers recently rejected the salary demands as being far too high. "We are operating in an environment in which there are more and greater risks than there have been for a long time," argued Thomas A. Lange, lead negotiator for the banking employers. However, Carsten Rogge-Strang, Chief Executive of the Employers' Association of the Private Banking Industry (AGV Banken), had also said before the talks began that the employers were "prepared to make fair salary adjustments".

A third negotiation date has already been agreed for July 3 in Frankfurt. In the previous round of collective bargaining, the unions and employers only reached an agreement after more than nine months in April 2022./sl/ben/DP/men