Merkel to push for minimum wage

Merkel to push for minimum wage
A pro-minimum wage demonstrator. Photo: DPA
Chancellor Angela Merkel is looking to introduce a “market-based organised lower limit for wages” of at least €6.90 an hour – although her party has always been against a minimum wage.

Her Christian Democratic Union is set to discuss new ideas at a conference in Leipzig in November, including, it has emerged, this effective minimum wage.

“We want a lower limit on wages, decided by the social partners and thus market-based, and not a political minimum wage,” reads the text of a recommendation of the conference organising committee.

Opposition Social Democrats and the socialist Left party offered to start talks with the government on the matter, and echoed Green party calls for quick action.

The CDU said the level should be set by a commission of social partners – employers and trades unions – and that it should be oriented on the agreed wage for temporary work. This is currently €6.89 per hour in the east of the country and €7.79 in the west.

The CDU is calling for a unitary hourly wage to be agreed for those workers who are not covered by other wage agreements.

This is being widely seen as an attempt by Merkel to put herself in a more socially-friendly light with an eye on the 2013 federal election.

DPA/The Local/hc

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