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CDU at loggerheads over minimum wage

The Local · 12 Nov 2011, 09:50

Published: 12 Nov 2011 09:50 GMT+01:00

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In an interview with the Madsack media group broadcast Saturday, Merkel reiterated her view that different minimum wages should be negotiated, according to region and industry. The motion to be debated at the Leipzig conference, however, foresees one binding minimum level of pay, which would also cover part-time and contract work.

Karl-Josef Laumann, chairman of the Christian Democratic Employees Association, insisted that Germany needs a legally mandated minimum level.

“There are many sectors without any wage agreements. The unions and the employers have not done their job there. Now is the time to take the necessary steps,” he told the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper. “We need a general minimum wage.”

A senior member of Merkel's own cabinet has voiced his opposition to the Chancellor's stance on the issue. Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen is in favour of the general minimum wage. He told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger that there was a “huge societal need” for such a measure.

Merkel disagrees. She believes that different sectors should be allowed to engage in their own collective bargaining. “If we take one sector, like the temporary contract sector, out of the collective bargaining mechanism, and make that into a general minimum wage, then we weaken the other social partners. And I don’t want that.”

A survey of CDU members has shown that 87 percent back a minimum wage in all or specific sectors. The poll, published in Saturday’s edition of the Passauer Neue Presse, showed that 61 percent support a comprehensive minimum wage, while 26 percent are in favour of it being implemented according to specific industries.

Opponents of a general legal minimum wage had long argued that it would destroy jobs, by making it unattractive for companies to hire. However, a recent study by the country’s six leading research institutes found that none of the industries that have a minimum wage see any negative impact on employment.

Since the welfare and labour reforms implemented under the government of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 2003, the low-income and precarious temporary sector has exploded in Germany.

Story continues below…

Currently the minimum wage for temporary work is €7.01 an hour in Eastern Germany and €7.89 in the West. However, there are many workers not covered by wage agreements, and some 1.2 million Germans earn less than €5 an hour.

DPA/The Local/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:07 November 12, 2011 by ovalle3.14
To those who oppose this idea, I would like to see you living on less than 7 euros an hour for a month and see how you make ends meet.
12:16 November 12, 2011 by Englishted
Don't introduce a minimum wage ,because if you do you make it harder to find a way to instill fear into the workforce,unless you only give short-term contracts and no job security .

Oh too late you already are.
02:09 November 13, 2011 by Wise Up!
To those support this idea, I would like to see you make a living without a job. Raising the cost of labor will only lead to hire prices and more unemployment. Want a higher paying job? Get an education and experience. Only when you become more marketable can you move up the ladder.
12:08 November 13, 2011 by Englishted
@Wise Up!

There is no evidence that a minimum wage leads to job loses ,if you have any please show it.

There is however evidence that when people have more to spend the economy does improve.

By your logic the lower the wages the better ,where would you like that to end? the bottom run on your ladder would be slaves .
12:50 November 13, 2011 by jbaker
Everyone in the World should make minimum wage and all will be fair. This will work when Elite and Privileged(born into Money) figure out they are not more deserving of a happy,healthful life than the rest of humanity.

People are tired of being controlled and a Revolution is brewing that can not be stopped.
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