The head of Germany's largest industrial workers' union says workers will strike in about 250 companies next week after negotiations with employers broke down.

The head of IG Metall union, Joerg Hofmann, told Bild newspaper on Sunday that workers will go on 24-hour strikes across the country and that small and big companies will be affected. The strikes are scheduled to begin in the middle of next week.

Talks over a new labor agreement broke down Saturday after employers did not agree to union demands to let workers choose a 28-hour week for up to two years with the right to return to their former hours after that, and the 6 percent pay increase over one year.

So far, job actions have been limited to strikes lasting a few hours.