The ongoing wage and salary negotiations between the union and the Chamber of Commerce for approximately 200,000 employees have reached a stalemate after seven hours of discussion. This marks the longest negotiation in the past 25 years, with both parties at odds over the unions’ demand for an 11.6% increase to compensate for the 9.6% inflation.
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 criticized the unions for their unwillingness to compromise, arguing that they had cornered themselves into a dead end.
The chief negotiator for PRO-GE, Reinhold Binder, confirmed that if a resolution was not reached that day, the unions would intensify their combat measures. High inflation has put a strain on employees who are demanding fair wage and salary increases that preserve their purchasing power. Meanwhile, employers argue that due to economic downturns in industry, it is impossible to fully compensate for inflation.
To escalate their measures, specifically, unions plan to leave it up to individual companies to decide how they can extend their strikes. For instance, large companies may consider extending strikes to multiple shifts while others may extend strikes to two consecutive days.
The union and employers remain at loggerheads as both sides refuse to budge from their positions on wage and salary increases for employees this year.