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Germany - Overwhelming support for nationwide minimum wage

15 November 2011

Chancellor (Prime Minister) Angela Merkel's Conservative Party (CDU/CSU) yesterday voted in favour of the introduction of a minimum wage for all sectors in the country, which do not currently have a collective bargaining-based minimum wage, Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper reports.

Out of circa 1,000 participants of the Conservative Party Conference, only nine voted against the minimum wage and eight abstained from voting.

The level of the new minimum wage will not, as previously suggested by Employment Minister Ursula von der Leyen, be based purely on the recently negotiated minimum wage for agency temporary employees but will take into account all minimum wages, which currently exist in the country.

Collective bargaining-based minimum wages in Germany range from 6.50 Euro to 13 Euro per hour. A sub-committee will be put in place to make suggestions to the government.

The next task for the Conservatives will now be to convince their Free Democrat coalition partner (FDP) that a national minimum wage should be adopted at all. The FDP is currently strongly opposed to the concept.

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