Tag: Giuseppe Verdi

Union chief upbeat on prospects for deal in German wage talks
Unemployment

Union chief upbeat on prospects for deal in German wage talks

Thomson Reuters BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of Germany’s public sector union said he was upbeat about reaching a compromise with employers in a third round of wage talks due to begin on Sunday, after a week of strikes by more than 150,000 union members.
Verdi leader Frank Bsirske told German newspaper Handelsblatt the two sides had been far apart in the previous two rounds of wage talks, but he was more optimistic going into the third round.
Verdi, with 2.3 million members, and the dbb assocation of civil servants, which represents 344,000 public servants, have been pressing for a pay raise of 6 percent for their next 12-month contract, or least 200 euros more a month.
Ulrich Silberbach, head of the dbb and the lead negotiator for the labour side, said the unions were ready to negotiate, but it was up to Seehofer to present a counter-offer. “After the long negotiations on forming a government, we can’t afford to also have long wage conflicts,” he said in a statement.
Verdi’s Bsirske said surging German tax revenues meant the pay deal should definitely be higher than one struck two years ago, when workers got an initial 2.4 percent increase, followed by a 2.35 percent increase. “Last time we had a 2 before the comma.
Inflation edged up to 1.5 percent in March.
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is in solid shape, with buoyant tax revenues and a record budget surplus.
Falling unemployment, inflation-busting pay rises and low borrowing costs are fuelling a consumer-led upswing.

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand
Unemployment

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand

Thomson Reuters BERLIN (Reuters) – German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Saturday he would press for “reasonable results” in the next round of pay talks with more than two million public sector workers, but he rejected the Verdi union’s demand for a six percent increase.
Wage talks are due to resume on Sunday after 150,000 public sector employees staged warning strikes and walkouts last week that left thousands of passengers stranded at airports, and hit hospitals, childcare centres and waste depots.
Seehofer, the federal government’s top negotiator in the talks, underscored the importance of public sector workers and said it was “self-evident” that they should benefit from the country’s economic growth.
Verdi said 17,000 people participated in walkouts on Friday, bringing the total for the week’s labour actions to 150,000.
He said public sector workers should benefit from surging German tax revenues.
The federal government and municipalities have rejected the union’s demands, but the head of the VKA association of local employer organisations last week said he expected an agreement to emerge from the next round of talks.
Inflation edged up to 1.5 percent in March.
Falling unemployment, inflation-busting pay rises and low borrowing costs are fuelling a consumer-led upswing.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is keeping a close eye on the German pay talks for any sign that wage growth is picking up, potentially lifting inflation and giving the ECB added leeway to start winding down its massive stimulus programme.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Helen Popper)