While the signs before the fourth round of negotiations were still warning strikes in the coming week, the social partners did agree on a wage agreement on Friday night. The 130,999 employees in the metalworking industry receive an average of 7.44 percent more actual wages.
Wages and salaries will be increased first by 5.4 percent. There is also a fixed amount of 75 euros. This results in an increase of around 8.9 percent for the lowest wage and salary group and a minimum wage of 2236 euros. “People predicted that we wouldn’t be able to increase real wages this year. We’ve succeeded,” says Rainer Wimmer, chief negotiator for the Pro-Ge trade union, in an interview with OÖNachrichten.
- ZIB 1: Metaller-KV stands
But there is also satisfaction on the employer side. Chief negotiator Christian Knill: “We are facing very difficult economic times. It is all the more important that we were able to reach a deal and that the companies have planning security.” Stefan Pierer, President of the Upper Austrian Federation of Industry, is also satisfied. “That is a reasonable result. The social partners negotiated with great pragmatism.”
Knill regretted that it had not been possible to make tax-free one-off payments palatable to the unions. For trade unionists Wimmer, these are “unsustainable” and would only be acceptable if they “were on top, like chives on sandwiches”.
Wimmer explains that, despite threats, there were no warning strikes: “We met and achieved a result that is impressive.” A strike is always the last resort. At the works meetings in the past few weeks, “a lot of steam” was made anyway. In addition, we know that some companies are not doing so well, and we have taken that into account.
For Wimmer it was the last wage negotiations. When asked if he’ll miss them, he said, “I certainly don’t miss the fight.” But it was an “honourable task” to conduct the negotiations together with Karl Dürtscher (GPA). He conducted the negotiations 14 times and, with the exception of the pandemic year 2021, always achieved real wage growth. “We’re proud of that,” said Wimmer.
The KV degree in the metal technology industry is considered a yardstick for all other wage and salary negotiations. The industry with 1200 companies achieves a production value of around 43.8 billion euros.