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DGB-Chef to the welfare state : Now the SPD corrected the mistakes of the past

Mr Hoffmann, the SPD wants to expand the welfare state and Hartz IV. Is that enough to reconcile the trade unions with the social-democracy?

Yes, I think so. The Agenda-politics of the SPD has led 15 years ago to the deep fault-lines between social democracy and the trade unions. Now the social Democrats to correct the mistakes of the past, you want to extend the duration of unemployment benefits. The SPD goes beyond a pure past. She has developed a strategy, as we can with the rapid changes in our world of work, the digitization deal.

What exactly does that mean?

We need new rules for the new world of work. The SPD wants to, for example, that more companies are again collective to pay wages. You want to create even a law. That's what we need, especially in the digital sector, otherwise we will eventually have a digital Proletariat. We must not make a technologically great progress, but in the case of workers ' rights in the industrial age. If only half of the German employees are paid according to Tariff, we need to protect the employees ' statutory rules, for example, a relief of the generally binding character of collective agreements.

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What order would happen without such rules for the digital world of work?

Then the interests of the workers completely. We take the privacy of. The workers are becoming more and more glass workers. There are reports that companies like Amazon monitor your employees in minutes. Who is resting in between for a Moment, is immediately threatened with a warning. This can't be!

The left party is not the Reform of the Hartz IV regulations far enough, it requires the waiver of all sanctions against Hartz recipients and higher Hartz-sets. The is covered?

of Course, sanctions may not lead to people having to live under the existence minimum. But there are in today's System. Without the duty to cooperate, it may not work, but we have to give people much more incentives, for example, if you form more, or for a vocational qualification. The qualification comes in the Hartz IV System, yet much too short.

Should offer the state of each of the long-term unemployed a Job, such as the Berlin Director proposes to the governing mayor, Michael Müller, so a huge second labour market?

to convey When people are unemployed for two years, then they are often very hard in a new Job. Often health problems and other things play a role. For such cases, we need to have a social labour market, on the people find the return to professional life. It is important that the victims be paid according to Tariff. The Michael Müller calls. That's why the unions support his proposal.

The SPD's concept of a right to the home office promises. How realistic is that?

I think that is realistic. If the employees do good work, it may be the boss but no matter where you work – whether in office, home or wherever. Today we are connected all digital. Of which are to benefit from our point of view, the workers, by deciding where they work. Especially young people often desire more flexibility in the Job. But, of course, that's not going anywhere. A Nurse of course can not work in a home office. But where it goes, it should be the employees.

Reiner Hoffmann is the Federal Chairman of the German trade Union Confederation. The 63-Year-old is a member of the SPD.Photo: imago/photothek

How many people could benefit from the right to the home office?

Yet a third of the companies offers to their employees working in a home office. Only eight percent of the employees accept this offer, most of the people are from the management level. The least number of farms, approximately ten percent, have a provision for home office in their employment contracts. Many people do not dare, therefore, to ask your boss if you can work from your home or it will be denied to them. Therefore, we need to have a clear legal right to the home office. Voluntarily, we know that the majority of companies would not engage in it.

you See no danger of that under the home office, the private life of the people could suffer?

For this Problem, we must not be blind. If your child falls asleep only at half past eleven o'clock in the evening, perhaps again after that to the Computer, then it can be of course a watch in the night. Here, we need to strengthen the employees in the back to give you more time sovereignty and the risk of self-exploitation is minimized.

you can Decide a lot. They believe that the SPD plans can be implemented in the Grand coalition?

Some things out of the SPD-concept are already in the coalition agreement. The Problem is that the Union and the SPD have a different interpretation, in terms of the concrete implementation of the points. Especially, the economic wing of the Union-and a lot of things. I see the ideas of the SPD as an invitation to the Union, the challenge of the new world of work together. I can only recommend, as much as possible of the SPD plans to implement. We need more security for Employees, so no one is left in the new digital world of work. I think this is also part of the Union.

Extended unemployment benefit payments for Older, more pension for low-income earners, more money for children in Hartz-IV-families – have you any idea what the cost to the taxpayer?

these issues there has to be a social debate: What is funded from contributions? What should we use taxes? Clearly there is somewhere a limit to the amount of the contributions. Where is it, and what must afford the welfare state, we need to find together as a society to answer.

The pressure to keep the promise, is great for the social Democrats. But what if the Union blocked the plans? Must leave the SPD, the coalition then?

no. If the Union and the SPD plans to resist, does not mean that the social Democrats must get out of the coalition. I understand the plans as a concrete proposal of the SPD, the welfare renewed promise to be effective. It would be good if the Partner seriously consider what you can implement of them together.

The SPD Federal party Congress at the end of the year, it could come to the oath. Then the social Democrats will want to consider whether you want to stay in the Grand coalition.

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template for the exam, the SPD calls for law on home office

The coalition has its weaknesses. But she has to show for it in our view a number of successes. We take, for example, the right to return from part-time to full-time, that employers pay the same contributions to the statutory health insurance, or the pension Pact. The discussion on the continuation of the Grand coalition is not expected to start after the upcoming elections, so right to travel, such as after the European elections in may. From the point of view of the trade unions, the balance of the coalition up to this point but at least let's see.

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