The Hans Böckler Foundation’s Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) has just published its Annual Report on collective bargaining developments in Germany in 2015.
The report provides an excellent overview of key developments in four key areas: overview of the 2014 bargaining round and of 2015 pay settlements in different sectors/regions; key data on collective bargaining developments focusing in particular on wages/salaries and working time; an overview of collectively agreed minimum wages at branch level; and prospects for the 2016 bargaining round.
The report shows that in 2015 collective bargaining in Germany was characterised by a number of hard-fought industrial disputes covering different sectors and issues. Conflicts took place, for instance, in the context of negotiations to secure a major upgrading of the status and terms of staff in social and childcare services; at Deutsche Post AG over the company’s attempt to lower agreed pay rates for delivery staff in newly established regional subsidiaries; and at Amazon to secure union recognition and a collective agreement.
As regards pay developments, the 2015 bargaining round resulted in an annualised 2.7% nominal increase in agreed pay for the whole economy – compared to a 3.1% increase in 2014. Due to the very low consumer price inflation (0.3%) the real increase in agreed pay in 2015 was 2.4%.
Aristea Koukiadaki (Univ. Manchester), Isabel Távora (Univ. Manchester) and Miguel Martínez Lucio (Univ. Manchester)
Guy Van Gyes and Thorsten Schulten
Torsten Müller (ETUI)