Employees demonstrated for higher wages at several stores of the German Karstadt Sports retail chain on Wednesday, April 16. By organizing a nationwide warning strike, their labor union, Verdi, wants to increase the pressure on Karstadt in the negotiations over their salaries. In 2013, Karstadt withdrew from collective pay agreements. While the regular Karstadt department stores have since come to an agreement with the management, the separately managed sports branches have failed to negotiate any valid deal to date, which has resulted in six straight years without any wage raises for the staff. Meanwhile, Karstadt Sports may soon have a few more retail locations in Germany: The new owner of Karstadt Sports since last year, the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof holding company controlled by the Austrian-based Signa Group, is believed to be planning to convert all the eight German stores of the off-price chain Saks Off 5th, which also belongs to the group, into Karstadt Sports branches..

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