In the negotiations for the collective agreement (KV) for the metalworking industry, there was no agreement in the fourth round of talks either. Warning strikes will take place in the metal industry from next Monday to Wednesday, and negotiations will continue on November 9th. After the conversation broke off, the employers emphasized that they had accommodated the unions, while the employee representatives spoke of “vodoo mathematics” and embellished numbers.
The unions continue to demand a wage and salary increase of 11.6 percent for one year, starting on November 1, 2023. The employers, in turn, brought two options into play today, both with one-off payments that employee representatives had already rejected in the past.
The employers’ offer 1 provided for plus ten percent – divided over two years – plus two one-off payments of 750 euros. As an alternative (offer 2), an average wage and salary increase of 8.42 percent was offered. This consists of an increase in fees of 2.5 percent plus a monthly fixed amount of 100 euros. There would also be a one-off payment of 1,050 euros, according to the employers from the Metal Technology Industry Association (FMTI) on Thursday evening at the Chamber of Commerce in Vienna.
The unions said that the numbers weren’t correct; after all, there were caps on payments that would affect a significant proportion of metal workers.
Christina Knill, chairman of the FMTI and Styrian industrialist, said after the broken talks that there was agreement among his colleagues on the employers’ side that no further concessions should be made. There is no fear of a strike. We must finally say goodbye to rolling inflation as the basis for the KV discussions. It is not yet possible to quantify the extent of the economic damage caused by warning strikes.
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The union representatives, Reinhold Binder (PRO-GE) and Karl Dürtscher (GPA), called the FMTI’s offer a “meanness” and an impudence; after all, the industry had done “the business of a lifetime” over the past two years.
Both sides spoke of very difficult negotiations. What is striking is that the rounds of discussions for the metal industry so far this year have been very short. Even if no agreement was reached, marathon meetings have so far been common practice. This time everything was said after just eight hours, and in the third round the haggling took even less time.
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