After the seventh round of negotiations between the metal workers of the KV did not lead to an agreement, the unions intensified their strikes. Voestalpine employees will stop working today from 2 p.m. Work must be stopped for 24 hours.
On Monday, unions lowered their previous demand from 11.6 percent plus to 10.6 percent, and employers also made improvements.
An offer with a catch
However, the sector’s offer of plus six percent and a one-off payment of 1,200 euros are said to be related to deteriorations in the framework law, for example in the area of overtime pay. The unions reject this.
The unions have so far left open how extensive the now extended strikes will be; the strike committees in the companies will decide on this, it was stated in the Ö1 “Morgenjournal”. The employers in turn accuse PRO-GE and GPA of being uncompromising and heading towards a dead end. It was still unclear on Tuesday morning when negotiations would continue.
No deal in sight
What is striking is not only the unusually large number of negotiating rounds without agreement, but also the short negotiating evenings. The first rounds of negotiations used to last well past midnight, but on Monday the talks ended at 8 p.m. at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.
The chief negotiators on the employee side, Reinhold Binder (PRO-GE) and Karl Dürtscher (GPA), described the offer from the company representatives last night as “an impertinence”. Employers’ chief negotiator Christian Knill appeared willing to continue negotiations, but he also made it clear on Monday evening: “We will not be impressed by further strikes and violent demonstrations.”
Trade unionist Binder raged in ‘ZiB 2’: ‘It is an incredible horror what employers are offering. (…) We will think carefully about how we adopt further measures. We are now definitely going to go a step further.”
Success in other sectors
Bakers recently achieved a wage increase of 9.7 percent. The federal government again provided a benchmark in the summer, with pensioners also receiving an increase of 9.7 percent. And in the spring round, most deals were around ten percent. The electricity industry ended at 9.9 percent, the paper industry at 9.8 to 10 percent. Rolling inflation was 9.5 percent in the spring and 9.6 percent in the autumn.
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.