Workplace Report November 2020

European news

Austrian metalworkers reach quick settlement

Almost all collective agreements in Austria are renegotiated every year, and negotiations normally last for several weeks. However, this year, under the impact of the coronavirus, the two sides in the metalworking sector reached agreement in the first round.

The deal for around 190,000 workers provides for a 1.45% pay increase from 1 November, broadly in line with current inflation, which was 1.5% in September. This takes the lowest monthly minimum wage in the industry to €2,029. In addition, employees will get a €150 tax-free coronavirus premium, where the financial position of their employer permits this.

The employers had originally wanted a pay freeze, and to delay a settlement until 2021 but this was rejected by the unions. Rainer Wimmer, the chief negotiator for the PRO-GE manual workers’ union, said: “it was important to us to get sustainable pay increases and to secure jobs in the metalworking industry”.

1 euro = 91p (21 October 2020)