BERLIN (Reuters) -- Daimler and parts supplier Schaeffler were among the companies affected when thousands of engineering workers on the night shift across Germany walked out over a wage dispute early on Thursday.
The action came after IG Metall, Germany's biggest trade union representing 3.7 million workers, rejected an offer from employers for a 2.2 percent pay increase for 2015 starting March 1. It wants a 5.5 percent rise for all of 2015, saying solid growth in Europe's biggest economy justified the demand.
In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone more than 3,000 employees at 15 companies downed tools for at least an hour after midnight and protested in front of factory gates, a regional branch of IG Metall said.
Further warning stoppages are expected during the course of today and in the coming weeks.
Wage negotiations between employers and the union are due to continue on Feb. 6 in North Rhine-Westphalia and on Feb. 11 in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Usually the first region to strike a deal is a precedent for the whole country.