From May, Germany has to open up its labour market to all European Union nationals. Fearing that a flood of workers from eastern Europe, where wages are lower, will push down earnings in Germany, von der Leyen is calling for a minimum wage in certain sectors about which she is “genuinely concerned.”
“We want to stop wage dumping that has been agreed to in foreign countries from being transported to us,” she told the daily Braunschweiger Zeitung.
“Wage dumping” refers to a situation in which companies progressively drop wages in order to keep themselves competitive.
So far, the junior coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democratic Party, has opposed a universally binding legal minimum wage for temporary work.
Von der Leyen, from the conservative Christian Democrats, said the coalition partners were in constant talks on the issue, though it was “not yet in the bag.”