The ongoing negotiations between the union and the Chamber of Commerce regarding this year’s wage and salary increases for approximately 200,000 employees have reached a stalemate after seven hours. This marks the longest negotiations in the past 25 years. The two parties are at odds over the unions’ demand for an 11.6 percent increase to compensate for the 9.6 percent inflation, which employers have refused to agree to.
Employers have expressed their frustration with the negotiations, stating that they are willing to provide increases if an improvement in the framework is achieved. However, they also criticized the unions for their inflexible approach, indicating that they had put themselves in a dead end.
The chief negotiator for PRO-GE, Reinhold Binder, announced that if a resolution was not reached that day, the unions would escalate their combat measures. High inflation has put a strain on employees who are demanding fair wage and salary increases that maintain their purchasing power. On the other hand, employers argue that due to industry recession, they cannot fully compensate for inflation.
Specifically, the unions plan to intensify their measures by leaving it up to individual companies to decide how they can extend their strikes. For instance, large companies may consider extending strikes across multiple shifts while others may extend strikes over two consecutive days.