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Germany – Siemens strikes deal over agency workers

30 November 2012

The German electronics giant Siemens has come to an agreement with its works council which will improve conditions for thousands of agency staff working at the firm. Last month, reports emerged of a dispute between the two parties, following the introduction of a new collective agreement which the works council claimed would have left temporary workers worse off.

The works council had threatened to take the company to court over the matter.

The employee group said that the new collective bargaining agreement may generally raise pay rates for temporary agency workers in the metal and electrical industry. But Siemens has had a company agreement in place which pays some of its old temporary workers more than the collective deal, which was enforced on 1 November.

Siemens had signed the company agreement in 2009 which entitles agency workers to direct employment after 18 months at the firm. The collective agreement on the other hand offers direct employment after 24 months and although it is more lucrative for new agency workers, those who had worked for Siemens before the enforcement date would have lost out on the benefits offered by the corporate deal.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung now writes that agency workers will not lose the right to direct employment after 18 months. Additionally, those agency employees who prefer to opt out and continue working for Siemens via an employment agency will still receive the same salaries paid to direct hires after 18 months. 

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