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Germany – Unions use “double standards” when paying agency staff

23 January 2013

The German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) has come under criticism for hiring temporary agency workers through their own staffing firm. The temporary workers are paid lower salaries than the minimum wage demanded by the union.

But the staffing company, Weitblick-Personalpartner GmbH, is not breaking any rules by paying the short-term staff wages that have been agreed in collective agreements.

Spiegel Online, which broke the news, writes that agency workers hired by the firm receive hourly wages that range between €7.89 and €8.19. This comes after head of the DGB, Michael Sommer, last week called for the introduction of a “comprehensive” minimum wage of €8.50. The association of temporary employment agencies (iGZ) accused the DBG of “double standards.”

Germany does currently not have a national minimum wage although politicians are fiercely debating the issue. Staffing firms in the country are obliged to pay agency workers at least €7.50 or €8.19, depending on where they are based. 

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