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German unions curb precarious work

18 September, 2013As preparation for the global action to STOP Precarious Work moves full steam ahead, German unions set a new benchmark for agency worker wages.

IG Metall, member of the German trade union center DGB and an affiliate of IndustriALL, celebrates a remarkable victory in bringing better payment to agency workers. On 16 September in Berlin, the DGB Wage Committee concluded an agreement with two employers' associations IGZ and BAP. The agreement brings increases in the monthly pay for temporary workers. As of 1 January 2014 their pay will rise in three steps by a total of 9.6 per cent in the West Germany and 12.8 per cent in the East, significantly reducing the pay gap between East and West. The agreement, which also prohibits use of temporary workers as strikebreakers, is valid through to 2016.

Helga Schwitzer, Member of the Executive Board of IG Metall, comments on the achievement, "With the secure and improved newly negotiated collective agreement, and in particular the minimum wage of 8.50 euros, we significantly improve the income situation for temporary workers in Germany." 

At the same time Schwitzer emphasizes that, “The collective agreement for temporary workers is not a panacea. The IG Metall union cannot completely solve the problem of unfair agency work through collective agreements, neither the general abuse, nor the lack of minimum wages in many industries. A special policy is required to deal with the problem.”

Schwitzer continues, "Such a policy must not be vague, but must contain clear legal regulations regarding the abuse of temporary work."

IndustriALL is calling on all affiliates to join the global fight against precarious work by taking action on October 7, the World Day for Decent Work. All updates and campaign materials are available on the STOP Precarious Work campaign page http://www.industriall-union.org/stop-precarious-work. Follow us on Twitter @IndustriALL_GU and share your messages about actions and success in the global campaign to STOP Precarious Work by hash tagging them #STOPrecariousWork.