ETUC calls for rapid agreement on minimum wage directive


The trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament have produced a provisional agreement on the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. It is now up to the Council and Parliament to vote on the proposal with the prospect that the Directive might be law by the autumn. The ETUC believes that the directive’s provisions on both statutory minimum wages and collective bargaining could be game changing, delivering not just vital increases for millions of workers who are facing surging prices but new rights and possibilities for trade unions to strengthen and extend collective bargaining. Meanwhile, as reported by ver.di, the German government has confirmed that the statutory minimum wage there will increase to €12.00 an hour in October this year. The current rate is €9.82 and it was already set to rise to €10.45 in July but the coalition government confirmed the further increase to €12.00 on 3 June. It is estimated that 8.6 million workers will benefit from the increase, two thirds of them women. The latest edition of the European Trade Union Institute’s Benchmarking Social Europe report (chapter 3 on wages and collective bargaining) includes details of trends in national minimum wages and collective bargaining coverage. It shows how many workers will benefit from a national minimum wage equivalent to the double threshold of at least 50% of average earnings and 60% of median earnings and the potential reduction in the gender pay gap. The report also shows the countries where collective bargaining coverage is less than 80% where the provisions on collective bargaining plans would be triggered.

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