Labor Day: Before May 1st: Trade unionists are demanding a significant increase in wages

Labor Day
Before May 1st: Trade unionists demand a significant increase in wages

Compensate for inflation: Unions are demanding a significant increase in wages. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa

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What is the best way for employees to offset the rising inflation rate? With a significantly higher wage, unionists say. But not only trade unions have to act now.

Ahead of Labor Day on May 1st, trade unionists have been calling for a significant wage increase for workers to offset rising inflation.

“For two years we have had a responsible wage policy because of the pandemic,” said IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann of the “Rheinische Post”. “The focus was on successfully securing employment in the deepest recession in our post-war history. Now our members are expecting a strong increase in wages.” Hofmann added: “The compensation for inflation cannot be a matter for the trade unions alone. The state is also in demand here, which must ensure through relief that the high energy prices can be borne by employees.”

The trade unionist does not see the danger of a wage-price spiral. This is based on the theory that rising wages inevitably lead to higher product prices and, as a result, prices and wages mutually inflate. On the contrary, Hofmann said: “We are currently experiencing a profit-price spiral: Due to the high demand in the process of catching up with the crisis and at the same time, in some cases, lower supply due to disrupted supply chains, companies are able to pass on almost all price increases in energy and raw materials to consumers.”

According to provisional calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, consumer prices in Germany in April were 7.4 percent higher than in the same month last year.

Verdi boss Frank Werneke calls for “increase in real wages”

According to Verdi boss Frank Werneke, it is now the employer’s turn. In the “Augsburger Allgemeine” he announced: “We want to at least compensate for the price increases in the collective bargaining rounds, if possible also achieve an increase in real wages, i.e. conclude above the inflation rate.”

The designated chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Yasmin Fahimi, demands: “In macroeconomic terms, one thing is clear: we have to strengthen purchasing power. That’s why there needs to be a wage development that compensates for inflation.” She also did not accept the reasoning with the wage-price spiral at the editorial network Germany (Saturday). “The tale of the wage-price spiral is nothing other than an attempt to pass on inflation and crisis management to the masses of consumers. And it ultimately means real wage losses,” she said.


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