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6 February 2020

Collective Bargaining newsletter January 2020

Please find below the highlights of the first issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2020 with the most important developments at European and member state level in January 2020.

  1. European Union: The European Commission has published a consultation paper on “possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages”. In the long history of the debate about a European minimum wage policy, this initiative represents a watershed moment because it is the first time the Commission has considered taking legislative action to ensure fair minimum wages in Europe. The Commission’s initiative is based on the belief that “adequate wages are key for ensuring fair working conditions and decent living standards for European workers” and that minimum wages, either set through collective agreements or legal provisions, help to protect low-wage workers and prevent in-work poverty. 
  2. Spain: Spain’s new government has announced a 5.5% rise in the minimum wage from 1 January. The government’s move is part of a plan to boost the net minimum wage to 60% of the average monthly pay of €1,944 by the end of its four-year term. The new government has also announced rises in pensions and civil servant salaries.
  3. Finland: After several months of negotiations, a new collective agreement for the technology industry was accepted. Wages will rise by 3.3%. The agreement is valid for 25 months and it covers some 100,000 workers in the technology sector, such as metal, mining, automotive, shipyards, etc. Industrial action was necessary to reach the agreement. 
  4. Turkey: Strike action by over 2,000 workers in Turkey has paid off as union Birleşik Metal İş won a major victory in securing a better deal for metalworkers. Some 2,200 workers at three companies and 13 plants across Turkey began strike action on 20 January. A breakthrough came following talks on 23 January between union representatives and management. The companies finally increased their offer and reached an agreement that will increase workers’ wages, social benefits and overtime pay, as well as provide other benefits.
  5. Romania: Kaufland, the biggest retail network in Romania and one of the biggest local employers, will increase the minimum gross income of its employees, including wage, meal vouchers and bonuses, by 10.6%, starting in March. The minimum income level will vary depending on the social and economic particularities of each region, which means that employees in regions with higher-than-average wages and a low unemployment rate will probably receive higher minimum wages than those in poorer regions.

Further reading:

Full version of the Collective Bargaining newsletter: Issue 1/January 2020

  • Archives database of Collective Bargaining newsletter, searchable by country and date.

 

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