Wal-Mart Germany was hit by strikes at a raft of stores last week as members of the Ver.di union tried to force it to accept a nationwide wage agreement. The agreement is negotiated at this time every year between retailers and unions across the country, usually sparking a wave of industrial action. However, Wal-Mart's problems were compounded by additional demonstrations at stores it is planning to close in Ingolstadt and Wilhelmshaven. A company spokeswoman told The Grocer: "We do not understand why the union has taken this action. "Wal-Mart is not a member of the employers' associations involved in the wage negotiations, which means that no pressure is exerted on the current negotiations by strikes at our stores." "Our company has already been providing binding declarations for several years now to the works councils. "We recognise all collective wage agreements in all tariff zones for all employees." She denied the strike had caused any disruption, saying all the affected stores had remained open. Reports in the German press said Wal-Mart was planning to sell off stores in Sigmaringen, Dusseldorf-Reisholz, Solingen and Erkelenz, following the closures at Ingolstadt and Wilhelmshaven. But she said there were no plans for further closures. {{NEWS }}