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Austria: metal industry strikes collective agreement in record time
Planet Labor, 25 September 2020, n°12146 - www.planetlabor.com

On Thursday 24 September in Vienna, social partners in the metal industry struck a collective agreement applicable to the sector’s 190,000 employees (40,000 of whom are currently on short-time working) in a record time of just one hour. It comes 10 days after employers in the sector requested that the traditional autumn negotiations for the six metal industry sub-sectors be completely postponed. While the Pro-Ge (industry) and GPA-djp (private sector employee) unions rejected the prospect of no wage increases being negotiated, they accepted the principle of a minimalist crisis agreement. At the end of their first set of talks, which lasted just one hour, social partners came out to present the following agreement: wages will be increased by 1.45%, the rate of inflation observed over the past year. In addition, a “coronavirus bonus” of €150 can be paid by companies that have the means and the desire to do so. Finally, the volume of “negative” hours that can be placed in a time savings account will be increased from 120 to 180 until the end of 2023, in order to provide more flexibility to companies in difficulty.