The negotiations between the union and the Chamber of Commerce over this year’s wage and salary increases for approximately 200,000 employees reached a stalemate after seven hours. This round of talks is the longest in the past 25 years. The two parties are at odds with the unions demanding an 11.6 percent increase to compensate for the 9.6 percent inflation, while employers have refused to agree to this demand.
Employers expressed their frustration with the negotiations, stating that they were willing to provide increases if an improvement in the framework was achieved. However, they also criticized the unions for their inflexible stance, indicating that they had maneuvered themselves into a dead end.
The chief negotiator for PRO-GE, Reinhold Binder, announced that if a resolution wasn’t reached that day, the unions would escalate their combat measures. The high inflation has put pressure on employees who are demanding fair wage and salary increases that maintain their purchasing power. On the other hand, employers argue that the industry has entered a recession and cannot fully compensate for inflation.
In particular, the unions are planning to intensify their measures by leaving it up to individual companies to decide how they can extend their strikes. For example, large companies may consider extending strikes to multiple shifts while others may extend strikes to two consecutive days.