Many German Workers are winning the right to a twenty-eight-hour work week. The Labour Union IG Metall earned a unique agreement this week, as per the deal a large chunk of the 2.3 million members are to get more relaxed working hours and a huge pay rise.
Many German workers at Germany’s top engineering companies from next year would be choosing to work twenty-eight hours a week for up to a span of two years before they could return to the standard and commonly practised thirty-five-hour week. These firms include Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler (DDAIF).
The deal had been signed with the representatives of more than seven hundred firms in the southwest of Germany. This deal is anticipated to have swelling effects throughout the German industry.
Megan Greene—the chief economist Manulife Asset Management said that this has set a kind of standard for everyone else.
IG Metall informed this deal would be facilitating the employees who want to assist their families or want to take care of their children or relatives. Accordingly, the salaries would be reduced as a reflection of the shorter working week. The deal also provides the option of working forty hours a week to the employees for earning more than their current salary.
German workers are making good use of the low unemployment and strong economic growth to relax their muscles.
Famke Krumbmuller—a partner at OpenCitiz—a political risk consultant company said that similar kind of deals are expected to come in other divisions and regions also.
Non-unionized workers could also take advantage of this deal exactly like the workers belonging to IG Metall employed in various firms.
Daimler mentioned that it would start offering flexible hours option to its employees from 2019 but also indicated that it is already been offering many more flexible working options to its employees.
Bosch—with the employee count of one lac thirty-eight thousand employees said that it would also be offering the same perks and pay raises to its greater number of German workers. It added that flexible hours would not be troublesome.
This deal would be a harder thing to swallow for some companies. Sudwestmetall—an employees’ association that has agreed to the deal said it is a compromise with some bitter elements. It added it would not be easy for many firms to absorb.
Volker Steinmaier—the spokesperson of Sudwestmetall said that shorter working week could lead to labour shortages, but, most workers would most probably be working the extra hours to earn more money.
He added that at present most of the firms already provide their employees to work either for thirty or thirty-five or forty hours. Most of the employees opt for the longer working hours for making more money.
Germany’s economy would get a boost as the workers availing the deal would be going out and spending more.
IG Metall informed that it would be giving its employees a 4.3% rise from April. This equals a rise of approximately 3.5% on an average in 2018, as per an economist at Berenberg bank—Florian Hense.
Hense said that this is good news for the workers as they would be seeing far more rise in their salaries than the inflation. This would provide a raise in their spending power and disposable income.