Austrian metalworkers conclude new agreement
In advance of the 2005 merger between the metalworkers and the non-manual private sector union, they conduct joint negotiations with the employers.
AUSTRIA: On October 18, after relatively swift but difficult contract negotiations, the IMF-affiliated blue-collar Austrian Metalworking and Textile Union (GMT), and the white-collar Private Sector Employees' Union (GPA) successfully concluded joint collective bargaining talks with the employers. The GMT and GPA, who are scheduled to merge in 2005, have held joint negotiations since 1993, with the same list of demands but separate collective agreements.
The new agreement for the metalworking sector covers more than 210,000 employees and took effect from November 1, 2002.
Results with regard to pay increases include:
- an increase in minimum wages/salaries of 2.3 per cent, with the new monthly minimum rate to stand at 1,215.24 euros (US$1,207.41);
- an increase in effective wages of 2.2 per cent;
- an increase in apprentice pay of 2.3 per cent;
- a one-off payment of 110 euros (US$99.38), to be paid by March 30, 2003.
A separate agreement, also valid as of November 1, was negotiated for approximately 60,000 workers in the electrical and electronics industries, with identical minimum and effective wage increases.
Both agreements provide improvements for night work legislation and for the changeover to the new statutory severance pay system.
The trade unions commented that the new settlement was an acceptable result in view of the unfavourable economic situation and high unemployment. The pay increases should add to the strengthening of purchasing power and stimulate the economy.
Nov 04, 2002 – Katherine Livas