Other sectors? Watch construction!
In 2018 wage contracts for close to 10m employees are up for renewal, i.e.
About 1⁄4 of all employed persons in the country. Besides the metal sector
(3.9m), there are two other heavyweights – the public sector (2.7m) and the
construction sector (0.7m) – where contracts expire by the end of February. The
construction sector is running quite hot at the moment.
There are reports that
orders for renovations are no longer being taken by some companies, given the
high demand for more lucrative new developments. There is anecdotal evidence
that companies have started to offer iPads or even company cars to young
people to win them for an apprenticeship. Against this backdrop, the union’s
initial claim of a 6% pay increase and a fully fledged 13 th month salary looks
However, such an increase (13th month salary) would add about
another 4pp to the claim in the west. In the east it could add more than 8% in
extreme cases, where so far not even partial payments for a 13th month’s salary
IG Bau, the construction sector union, is also requesting that daily
commute time to construction sites is counted as working hours. This could in
extreme cases add almost 10% to the wage bill. The current basic agreement
includes some (modest) compensation for commuting costs.
Since the basic wage agreement (Manteltarifvertrag) can only be terminated by the end of the
year, it seems unlikely that this issue will be dealt with in the upcoming pay