The 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 dead end after seven hours. This is the longest negotiation in the past 25 years. The two parties remain at odds, with unions demanding an 11.6 percent increase to compensate for the 9.6 percent inflation, while employers refuse to agree to this demand.
The 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, claiming that they had painted themselves into a corner.
Reinhold Binder, PRO-GE’s chief negotiator, stated that if a resolution could not be reached on that day, the unions would expand their combat measures. The high inflation has put pressure on employees who are demanding fair wage and salary increases that maintain their purchasing power. On the other hand, employers argue that the industry has entered a recession and cannot fully compensate for inflation.
The unions have specific plans to escalate their actions if no agreement is reached. For example, large companies may consider extending strikes to multiple shifts or two consecutive days.