December 1, 2023 9:48 am

The seventh and most recent round of negotiations between the union and the Chamber of Commerce discussing this year’s wage and salary increases for approximately 200,000 employees ended without any resolution after seven hours. It’s been the longest negotiations in the past 25 years. The two parties are at odds with the unions demanding an 11.6 percent increase to compensate for the 9.6 percent inflation, while employers have refused to agree to this demand.

The unions expressed their frustration with the lack of progress, stating that they cannot accept less than an 11.6 percent increase to keep up with inflation. However, employers argued that they cannot afford such a significant raise without causing financial strain on their businesses.

Reinhold Binder, the chief negotiator for PRO-GE, expressed his disappointment in the lack of progress but also acknowledged that it was time for both sides to take a step back and reassess their positions before continuing negotiations. He stated that if a resolution wasn’t achieved soon, unions would expand their combat measures by escalating their strikes.

The high inflation has put a strain on employees who are demanding fair wage and salary increases that preserve their purchasing power. On the other hand, employers argue that the industry has slipped into a recession, making it difficult for them to fully compensate for inflation while maintaining profitability.

Specifically, unions plan to escalate their measures by leaving it up to individual companies to decide how they can extend their strikes

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