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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IG Metall Votes on Strike Call

MUNICH -- Some 165,000 metal and electronics workers began voting Monday on whether to strike after employers refused to put forward a concrete wage offer. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl appealed for labor peace.

Kohl told bankers in a speech Sunday that Germany can ill afford a bitter conflict considering that low-wage competition is right next door in the Czech Republic and other East European states.

Members of Kohl's Cabinet warned over the weekend that Germany's economic recovery was fragile and could hardly sustain the damage of a prolonged strike by IG Metall, Germany's largest union with 3.5 million members.

Everything from power plants to the consumer-electronics industry would be affected by a strike. IG Metall says that if the membership in Bavaria votes for a strike, they expect one to begin Friday.