BERLIN (Dow Jones) – According to IG Metall, the recession in German industry will last at least until the end of the year. IG Metall boss Jrg Hofmann told Tagesspiegel that supply chains and sales markets are far from receptive. Health protection in the current corona pandemic is also slowing down the ramp-up phase after the shutdown has ended.
“In the industry we are in a prolonged period of recession, hundreds of thousands of skilled workers remain on short-time work for months,” Hofmann told the newspaper. The state could not simply turn the lever here, “as is possible with the gradual lifting of restrictions in the service sector”.
The IG Metall therefore calls for an increase in short-time work benefits. “The skilled workers, white-collar workers, technicians now need the welfare state because the collective bargaining is incomplete and collective agreements often only cover the first few months,” says Hofmann. It will take until the end of the year “until we have got through the worst in the industry”.
A minimum short-time work allowance for lower incomes, as advocated by the CDU workers’ wing, finds Hofmann “not administrable, because the Federal Employment Agency has to do all hands to process more than 700,000 applications from companies for short-time work”. After all, the minimum short-time work allowance “does not reach the middle of society”, including the union members in industry.
For the chairman of IG Metall, a nationwide increase in short-time work benefits to 80 percent remains the simplest and most effective instrument for “stabilizing incomes for people who cannot go to work,” as Hofmann told Tagesspiegel.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
DJG / aat / rio
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 16, 2020 08:28 ET (12:28 GMT)