Bargaining survey shows decline in negotiated real wages


The trade union-linked WSI research institute has published its annual overview of collective bargaining across Europe which it says “shows with alarming clarity that workers are the losers in the current wave of inflation: across Europe, the purchasing power of wages fell by 4.0% last year.” The report reveals that negotiated wages in the Eurozone rose by 2.8% in 2022, the second highest increase in over 20 years but the impact of inflation turned this into a 5.2% real terms decline, by far the largest fall over the same period. The report confirms that: “The long-term perspective makes it clear that the recent rise in prices has completely erased the real gains made in collectively-agreed wages the past few years.” The overview provides further evidence that profits more than wages are contributing to higher inflation, as the report says: “a sober look at data from the European Central Bank and Eurofound shows that the development of negotiated wages cannot explain the high inflation rates of recent months.”

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