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The minimum wage agreement signed in late January by the Association of Temporary Employers (BZA) and the German Confederation of Trading Unions (DGB), now risks being cancelled because two of DGB's sub-unions (IG Metall and Verdi), are contesting the negotiated outcome.
The minimum wage agreement, which would have applied to temporary workers who are employed by BZA's member staffing agencies included a pay rise of 2.5% on 1 May 2010 and a further pay rise of 2.5% in 1 May 2011. On top of these rises a one-off payment of 80 Euro per temporary employee was agreed.
BZA representative, Thomas Baumer, told German business daily Handelsblatt "to negotiate a contract and then to torpedo it, that is a first for me."
Baumer is extremely concerned that Germany needs a minimum salary for the temporary employment sector. He said "people will just have to think about what will happen in 2011 if we don't have a minimum salary for temporary employees. The temporary employment market will be opened up to Eastern European staffing agencies. Polish staffing agencies are already preparing themselves with hourly wages of 4 Euro."
In spite of considerable resentment, BZA has agreed to re-start negotiations with DGB and find a solution by 8 March 2010.