German Bakers Threaten To Go On Strike

Pretzel makers warn that they are willing to strike just in time for the world's biggest beer festival. Oktoberfest begins at the end of this month.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, if you want to place a bet of a different kind, maybe you'd like to speculate in the pretzel market. There could be a shortage of pretzels in Bavaria because German bakers are threatening to go on strike. That is why we are twisting ourselves into pretzels for our last word in Business today.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's right. A gastronomy union represents nearly 50,000 bakers, and it is demanding a 6.5 percent wage increase. Negotiations have now stalled, and pretzel makers are warning they are willing to strike just in time for the world's biggest beer festival - Oktoberfest - which, Steve, you might not know this, actually begins at the end of September.

INSKEEP: Of course. One festival organizer told NBC News the backup plan here is simply to drink more beer.

GREENE: Or have a brat.

INSKEEP: And that's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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