According to a quick estimate by Statistics Austria, the average inflation rate for the period from September 2022 to August 2023 is 9.6 percent. In addition to inflation, the union usually haggles over the productivity gains workers are to be compensated for.
The union sees the causes of the high inflation – and thus a higher basis for the negotiations – in a half-hearted implementation of measures. The employee representatives, together with the social partners such as the Federation of Industrialists, have proposed appropriate measures, the union said in a broadcast.
“Wage moderation a no-go”
The ÖGB President Wolfgang Katzian rejected the call for wage restraint so as not to further fuel inflation: “This is an absolute no-go! Employees deserve their share of the economic success and the unions ensure that purchasing power is secured .” A drop in real wages would ultimately have negative effects on the economy and would weaken it: “Right now, in addition to good wage agreements, inflation-dampening measures are finally needed to slow down inflation,” says Katzian. “One-time payments and at most measures suitable for headlines remain the wrong way. Show politics is no longer enough,” said the ÖGB President.
Last year, the negotiators at the metal workers agreed on an average increase in actual wages of 7.44 percent. Employees received 7 percent more, workers could look forward to an increase in actual wages of 8 to 8.9 percent, depending on the wage level.