German Chemical Employers Oppose Union Pay Rise Proposal

14.11.2014 -

Germany's chemical workers union IG BCE is seeking a wage increase of 4-5% for the 550,000 employees of the country's chemical sector. As part of its lifetime work and demographics program, the union also would like to see a work week reduction for employees aged 60 and older anchored in the 12-month contract.

Addressing issues expected to be part of the bargaining rounds with the federal employers' association BAVC, the union's chief negotiator, Peter Hausmann, said the pay rise sought is completely in line with Germany's economic outlook, even if the business sector grows more slowly than previously expected. He also called on employers to invest more in their home market.

Speaking for employers, BAVC chief negotiator Hans-Carsten Hansen said employee representatives "should have grasped" that their proposal is far out of line with the economic outlook for many segments of the chemical industry, which has deteriorated "considerably." At the same time, Hansen pointed to the fact that inflation in Germany is "close to zero."

The BAVC negotiator also reminded union leadership that the two sides are negotiating a wage package that has to be acceptable to all of the industry's companies, not just the top earners.

Negotiations on the new contract are due to begin on Jan. 26, 2015.