Status: 03/27/2021 12:05 p.m.
First of all, no more salary, but secure jobs and some one-off payments: Employers and IG Metall in North Rhine-Westphalia came to an agreement in the collective bargaining in the steel industry. That could have a signal effect.
In the collective bargaining for the north-west German steel industry, there is an agreement on a new collective agreement. Employers and IG Metall agreed one-off payments for the approximately 70,000 employees in the industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bremen, as both sides announced.
The employer and the union agreed on a one-off payment of 600 euros, which will initially be transferred in partial amounts and paid out every year from 2023 onwards. These recurring payments can be converted into free time to safeguard employment. In addition, the parties have decided on a corona aid of 500 euros, which should be paid out at the end of June. The collective agreement has a term of 15 months, it said in a statement by the steel employers’ association.
The union had entered negotiations with the demand for a collective wage increase of four percent. In companies with a poor order situation, it should also be possible to use the money for measures to safeguard jobs. The North Rhine-Westphalian district manager of IG Metall, Knut Giesler, called the agreement “a responsible and fair compromise”. The wages and salaries rose permanently due to the new collective agreement.
It is also positive that the trainees and the lower salary groups benefit disproportionately from this negotiation result. Chairwoman of the Steel Employers’ Association, Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, said that the collective agreement serves to preserve the company’s financial ability to act in view of the existence-threatening loss of substance in the corona crisis.
Signal effect for other countries?
Now that an agreement has been reached in North Rhine-Westphalia on the wages for the steelworkers, the agreement could be adopted nationwide by other tariff areas. Negotiations for the electrical and metal industries will continue on Monday. IG Metall entered into these collective bargaining with similar demands. Nationwide, there are more than 3.8 million employees in the industry.
“We are now expecting a significant leap on the employers’ side,” said the North Rhine-Westphalian IG Metall boss Knut Giesler after the agreement for the steel cookers. “And then solutions for metal and electronics are also possible.” When it comes to qualitative issues, both sides have come a long way together. But in the end there must also be a volume that serves to secure employment and enable an increase in incomes.