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Industrial Relations

Picture: GettyImages

Most aspects of economic policy are the government’s responsibility. Collective wage bargaining is an exception: the constitution guarantees employers’ associations and unions autonomy in their collective bargaining over wages and salaries, working hours and other employment conditions.

Collective negotiations often involve bitter arguments over the extent of wage increases and in extreme cases strikes are called. In past decades the two sides of industry have often raised wages by more than was justified by increases in productivity. Only recently have they pursued a moderate wage policy which has improved the international competitiveness of German companies and led to unprecedented growth in employment. This moderate policy is increasingly under threat from newly founded specialised labour unions which are in fierce competition and negotiate high wage increases to attract new members.

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Authors
Content Type
Hagen Lesch

Dr. Hagen Lesch

Head of the Research Unit Wage Policy and Industrial Relations

Tel+49 221 4981-778

Maillesch@iwkoeln.de

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Helena Schneider

Helena Schneider

Economist for Wage Policy and Collective Bargaining

Tel+49 221 4981-665

Mailhelena.schneider@iwkoeln.de

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Christoph Schröder

Christoph Schröder

Senior Researcher for Income Policy, Wages and Working Time Policy

Tel+49 221 4981-773

Mailschroeder.christoph@iwkoeln.de

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Sandra Vogel

Dr. Sandra Vogel

Senior Researcher for Industrial Relations

Tel+49 221 4981-746

Mailsandra.vogel@iwkoeln.de

@San_Vogel

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