Siemens staff in mass walkouts across Germany

Thousands
of workers at engineering giant Siemens have staged rallies throughout Germany
in protest against the threat of jobs moving abroad.

"Staff
have been told to work 40 hours instead of 35-hours a week for the same pay or
else production will go elsewhere," a union official told BBC News Online.

A
union official said staff walked out of their factories on Friday and held
rallies. He added that Siemens may move plants to Eastern Europe where costs
are lower.

But
Siemens said it was confident an agreement with unions could be reached to stop
the outsourcing of work.

A
survey by the United Nations this week showed that German companies were second
behind the UK is sending service operations offshore.

By
Mike Berry

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