Criticism of high wage demands: SMEs are deeply concerned about the major strike

Criticism of high wage demands
Middle class is deeply concerned about major strike

The demands of the railway unions EVG and Verdi are sometimes well above the inflation rate. The federal association of medium-sized businesses get possible high wage agreements – they could threaten the existence of companies.

SMEs are deeply concerned about the large-scale traffic warning strike announced for Monday. “Companies and the population must not be taken hostage for demands that are not expedient in the current economic situation,” said Markus Jerger, head of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW), in Berlin. “Forced high wage agreements that bring companies to the brink of economic viability rob them of any motivation to shoulder additional costs for their own transformation.”

With a large-scale nationwide warning strike, the railway and transport union (EVG) and Verdi want to paralyze large parts of public transport next Monday. Long-distance and regional rail transport, almost all German airports, waterways and ports as well as motorways are affected.

The EVG demands at least 650 euros more wages. In the case of higher wages, she is aiming for an increase of twelve percent with a term of the collective agreement of twelve months. Together with the civil servants’ association dbb, Verdi is demanding 10.5 percent and at least 500 euros more wages for the public sector.

Jerger emphasized that the collective bargaining demands by Verdi and EVG should by no means have a signal effect on small and medium-sized businesses. From his point of view, that would be life-threatening for many small and medium-sized companies. “The BVMW, as a representative of medium-sized companies, has the proportionality of strikes of this magnitude checked,” explained Jerger.

Small and medium-sized businesses were already suffering from supply chain problems, rising energy and commodity prices and a lack of availability of labor and skilled workers. Jerger appealed to the collective bargaining partners to work out a solution as soon as possible in order to keep the strike damage to the German economy and population as low as possible.

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