Electrometallurgy: the agreement on wage increases was what Germany needed
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It’s a “true feat”, rejoices the Suddeutsche Zeitung. In these difficult times, the agreement reached between the unions of the German electrometallurgy and the employers on the night of Thursday to Friday seems like good news for nearly 4 million people. The latter will benefit from a tax-free bonus of 3,000 euros and salary increases of 8.5% in total, implemented in stages and over two years. These are still lower than the inflation rate, which reached 10.4% in October, unheard of since 1951.

The compromise, negotiated by the powerful union IG Metall and its employer counterpart Gesamtmetall, took several weeks to see the light of day. Because the claims of the various actors seemed difficult to reconcile. The energy-intensive companies concerned are currently under pressure due to rising gas and electricity prices, and employers are seeking to reduce production costs. But at the same time, workers see their purchasing power drop sharply.

“Sense of the collective”

For the left-wing daily, “the bosses and IG Metall have proven with their agreement that they can act in the direction of the collective”. The document will indeed“to avoid long strikes, which, in the context of an impending recession, would have been detrimental to the entire German economy”.

The title also believes that wage increases remain low enough to avoid fueling inflation too much, while pushing households to consume. “No strikes, and more consumption, that’s exactly what our battered country needs.”

Above all, note the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the deal seems to suit most players, even if “the usual complaints about a painful compromise [se font entendre et] seem, this time, to make more noise on the side of the bosses”. The latter will only increase wages from June 2023, which should allow them to get through the winter and the peak of the energy crisis. And if a company’s revenue is insufficient, it will not be required to increase wages.

The compromise was called “more or less bearable” by employers and‘”acceptable” by IG Metall. Concluded in Baden-Württemberg, in southern Germany, it should be extended to other regions. It could subsequently inspire other branches of the country’s economy.

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