BERLIN -- German industrial union IG Metall said it was staging more stoppages across the country on Wednesday in a pay dispute, targeting some top companies including Airbus, DaimlerChrysler, Siemens, BMW and MAN.
A spokeswoman for the union said the industrial action, consisting of walkouts and demonstrations lasting between one and two hours, would continue into their second week on Thursday when pay talks resume.
Both sides say a deal is unlikely this week. So far, the campaign of stoppages has had little impact on the companies' output.
IG Metall staged walkouts at DaimlerChrysler AG plants in Sindelfingen, Untertuerkheim and Gagenau, at a BMW AG plant in Berlin, and at Robert Bosch GmbH's north German factories in Salzgitter and Hanover.
Some 1,500 workers walked off the job at the Airbus plant in Hamburg, and a Siemens AG factory in Hanover had also been hit, said IG Metall spokeswoman Martina Helmerich.
A factory of engineering company Linde AG in Ballenstedt, eastern Germany, was also affected, she said.
"We're going to continue the strikes tomorrow along the coastal region," said Helmerich, adding that shipyards would be hit. She said it was too soon to say how many workers were joining the stoppages on Wednesday.
In the industrial southwestern region of Baden-Wuerttemberg alone some 23 plants were being targeted on Wednesday. The western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to the industrial Ruhr region, is also being hit.
Some 43,000 workers took part in the industrial action on Tuesday, hitting production at 96 companies including Ford Europe and Porsche AG.
Thousands of workers have taken part in short walkouts at plants across Germany since last Wednesday night after pay talks between the union and employers broke down last week.
IG Metall, which represents 3.5 million workers in the engineering and manufacturing sector, is demanding a four percent pay rise and has rejected an offer from employers of two separate rises of 1.2 percent over 27 months.
It also rejects employer demands on changes to rules on working hours which IG Metall says will result in longer working hours and hence lower pay.
Talks in Baden-Wuerttemberg, which traditionally leads pay negotiations for the rest of Germany and where both DaimlerChrysler and Porsche are based, are due to resume on Thursday. Several rounds of talks in other regions are planned in the coming weeks.
The union has said it will decide on its future strategy this week and will continue with its campaign of limited stoppages but is some way off calling for an all-out strike despite continuing differences over both pay and working hours.