Germany - Short-time working agreement saved many jobs - April 29, 2010

In the April meeting of the Collective Bargaining Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Uwe Fink, leading the wage policy department of the IG Metall union, explained the background to and details of the short-time working agreement in the German metals and engineering sector. This sector was facing a major crisis with 200,000 job cuts and the termination of contracts for 220,000 temporary agency workers. Production and orders had fallen by over 20%, with some firms facing falls of over 50%. A temporary short-time working agreement had been agreed for two years which first required firms to take advantage of the statutory “Kurzarbeit” system, funded by employer social security contributions, and then applied arrangements negotiated for the sector. IG Metall estimated that the agreement had saved around 500,000 jobs. The union was also insistent on negotiating a pay deal and secured a Euro 320 lump sum payment for 2010 with a 2.7% increase from 1 April 2011 (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 2 May and November 2009).



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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