Germany set to expand minimum wage coverage

1st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A commission set up by the ministry approved the move in five of six activities under examination -- mining, dry cleaning, rubbish collection, security services and job training, a ministry statement said.

Berlin -- The German labour ministry opened the way on Monday for minimum wages to be applied in five more sectors of Europe's biggest economy.

A commission set up by the ministry approved the move in five of six activities under examination -- mining, dry cleaning, rubbish collection, security services and job training, a ministry statement said.

Workers who provide care for others were excluded from a minimum wage however.

Labour representatives and bosses in the five approved areas now have three weeks to comment on the decision before the government makes a final decision on the matter.

"Little by little, there are more and more minimum wages in Germany," Labour Minister Olaf Scholz, who supports the measure, was quoted by the statement as saying.

At present, around 1.4 million workers in six sectors benefit from a minimum wage, which is negotiated sector by sector, leaving no single figure to quote.

For dry cleaning workers, a minimum wage of 7.51 euros (10.70 dollars) was suggested, though that would fall to 6.36 euros in formerly communist eastern Germany where the cost of living is lower.

Rubbish collectors stood to collect 8.02 euros an hour, while mine workers could get between 11.17-12.41 euros depending on their qualifications.

The relatively small number of workers receiving minimum wages is the result of a German tradition by which pay is traditionally negotiated directly between unions and management.

AFP/Expatica

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