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Negotiations for Metaller-KV Break Down as Strikes Intensify


Nov 21, 2023

The seventh round of negotiations between the union and the Chamber of Commerce regarding this year’s increase in wages and salaries for around 200,000 employees was again broken off without result on Monday evening after seven hours.

The positions of the two parties were recently far apart. Inflation was 9.6 percent in the past twelve months. The unions are demanding an increase of 11.6 percent, and employers have not yet agreed to compensate for the inflation rate. These are the longest negotiations in the last 25 years.

“It’s tough,” was what employers told APA in the late afternoon. Shortly after 8 p.m. there was another negative report about the demolition. “The behavior of the unions is absurd, no one understands that anymore. We would have been prepared to give increases if we had achieved an improvement in the framework,” says Christian Knill, chairman of the Metal Technology Industry Association, showing little understanding for the union. And further: “With their uncompromising approach, the union representatives have maneuvered themselves into a dead end and are stuck there. We will not be impressed by further strikes and demonstrations of power. Our offer stands, we are still willing to negotiate and have suggested further dates.”

“If we don’t come to a result today, the combat measures will be expanded,” said PRO-GE chief negotiator Reinhold Binder in the “Ö1-Morgenjournal” on Monday morning. Collective bargaining negotiations are particularly difficult this year. The unions see themselves as obliged to enter into the negotiations with appropriate demands. Ultimately, high inflation puts a strain on employees. Knill, as an employer representative, pointed out in advance that the industry had slipped into a recession and that inflation could therefore not be fully compensated for.

According to the unions, the one-day strikes are now being deepened. “These are the longest negotiations in the last 25 years. For more than eight weeks, employers have been refusing fair wage and salary increases that preserve the purchasing power of employees. Now employees are even being asked to pay part of the increase themselves. That is “It’s an impudence. The employees will certainly not get involved in this evil game,” said the two chief negotiators, Binder (PRO-GE) and Karl Dürtscher (GPA).

“It is an unbelievable horror what the employers are offering,” said Binder in the ZiB 2 after. “We will think carefully about how we determine further measures. We will definitely step up our game now.” Specifically, it should be left to the companies to decide how they can extend their strikes. For example, large companies that produce in several shifts could extend the strikes to several shifts. Or the companies that only went on strike for one day last week could now go on strike for two days. The Voest companies are scheduled to go on strike on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

By Editor

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