Austria - Negotiations in metal industry start again - September 22, 2010

The first round of collective negotiations for the about 165,000 employees in the metal sector will be held on 14 October at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), in Vienna. On 30 September the GPA-djp and PRO-GE unions present their exact demands. They will demand an increase in wages and a reduction of the current 38.5 hours working week. Traditionally, the wage negotiations in the metal and mining sectors set the trend for all other sectors in Austria. Rainer Wimmer, chief negotiator for the PRO-GE union, is clear, “The right signal to the workers after the economic crisis is decent and fair wage and salary increases.” The negotiations are expected to be tough this year, with the WKO employers' representatives making it clear they want cheaper labour, claiming the 1.45% increase negotiated in 2009 was unbearable. The unions have declared that the flexibility model proposed by the employers will be no theme for negotiations, definitely if it would imply the abolition of allowances. In April 2010, the WKO industry section unilaterally called off negotiations on working time flexibility for the metalworking and mining industry, which came as a surprise to the unions. By then, the main employers’ claims were an extension of the reference period for calculating overtime pay to two years (instead of one year) and for paying overtime premiums only after the 45th weekly working hour, and only when 150 hours of the annual time credit have been exceeded.


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This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2009.

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