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According to staffing agency giant Adecco Germany's Managing Director, Andreas Dinges, there will be chaos in Germany when the borders are opened for staffing agencies from Eastern European member countries of the European Union (EU) in May 2011, unless a minimum salary can be agreed for the industry.
Minimum wages in Germany are set by collective agreements. The government does usually not interfere. Dinges demands a minimum salary for temporary employees of 8.19 Euro in West Germany and 7.50 Euro in East Germany.
Dinges told Frankfurter Allgemeine, "All we want to do is to prevent chaos in the form of downwards spiralling of salaries [for temporary employees]. Adecco does have local and regional offices in Eastern Europe where temporary employees are paid the market rate. But what we don't do, is exporting these people to high salary countries."
Dinges said that temporary employees from Eastern Europe might work in Germany for less than 5 Euro per hour if a minimum salary cannot be agreed.
On the criticism that temporary employees increasingly replace permanent employees in the workforce, Dinges said "in Germany, 1.6% of the workforce are temporary employees. This is an extremely low percentage compared to other countries like France, the UK or the Netherlands where temporary employees account for up to 5% of the workforce."
"The fairy tale of mass replacement of permanent employees by temporary employees has never been proven by anyone. The German government's own research shows that the opposite is the case: companies, which use temporary employees also increase their permanent staffing levels."