Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook
Featured Fussball SPD SeibelKarsten Coronavirus Karriere

"We need a strike law"

In view of the wave of strikes announced by Ver.

- 35 reads.

"We need a strike law"

In view of the wave of strikes announced by Ver.di and other trade unions, warnings that a wage-price spiral is about to start are getting louder and the tone in the debate about restrictions on the right to strike is becoming sharper. “Compared to other European countries, we have very few strike days in this country. And in Germany we are dealing with a workforce that has been acting in a highly responsible manner for decades and has always kept an eye on the overall economic well-being," said SPD co-chairman Lars Klingbeil in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG.

"When the CDU's association of small and medium-sized enterprises calls for the right to strike to be restricted, that's absurd." People have to pay bills, groceries, petrol and train tickets. "There is justification for demanding higher, better wage agreements and, if in doubt, to go on warning strike with the unions," Klingbeil defended the industrial action that had been announced.

Ver.di has announced massive warning strikes in the public sector nationwide for the coming week. This affects municipal administrations and companies, including buses and trains, daycare centers, job centers and savings banks. On March 27, Ver.di and the EVG railway union want to paralyze rail and air traffic and strike Autobahn GmbH. Ver.di and the civil servants' association dbb are demanding 10.5 percent more income for the approximately 2.5 million public sector employees nationwide.

“The labor disputes of the unions are increasingly aimed at generating as much attention as possible with as little effort as possible – and at the same time gaining members. That's another reason why we need new rules, preferably a strike law," demands Steffen Kampeter, General Manager of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA). “Strikes should not be banned, but they should be proportionate. It must essentially be about concluding a collective agreement - and must not be aimed against the general population," says Kampeter.

The CDU-affiliated SME and Economic Union (MIT) has made similar demands. Like other business representatives, MIT also warns that high collective bargaining agreements such as those recently reached at Deutsche Post with an average wage increase of 11.5 percent could set in motion a wage-price spiral, as the ÖTV union, predecessor of Ver.di, had done in 1974.

"I think the story of the wage-price spiral is a fairy tale," says SPD co-leader Klingbeil, adding: "We have seen how inflation has eaten up wage increases in recent years. Anyone who works in a kindergarten in Germany, who takes care of those being cared for as a nurse or who makes sure that everything runs smoothly in the country as a bus driver also has the right to earn a decent living.”

The economist and social democrat Gustav Horn also considers the warnings of a wage-price spiral to be exaggerated. "The legendary high wage agreement of the ÖTV in 1974 was higher than the inflation at the time. This triggered a spiral that ultimately led to a recession or stagflation due to the interest rate policy of the Bundesbank. The current situation is different – ​​so far,” says Horn. "We are seeing high wage settlements, but mainly on the basis of one-off payments that will not burden companies in the years to come."

The former Ver.di boss and current Greens member of the Bundestag, Frank Bsirske, expects further significant wage increases. “Good wage agreements like the one at the post office are not explosive and are not a problem for this federal government. They should set an example and be a role model for further qualifications,” says Bsirske. "Companies in this country have to adjust to that."

The President of the German Institute for Economic Research, Marcel Fratzscher, also calls for special help for low earners, including an increase in the minimum wage: "The minimum wage must be set in such a way that it covers inflation, which was eight percent last year and is expected to be in this year will be 6 percent, and it should be higher than current average wage increases.”

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.