More than half a million employees in the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry will receive substantial wage increases. The trade union IG BCE and the employers’ association BAVC agreed in their collective bargaining on two table-effective wage increases of 3.25 percent each and one-off payments totaling 3000 euros, as both sides announced on Tuesday in Wiesbaden. The term of the collective bargaining agreement is 20 months.

The one-off payments are therefore tax and duty-free as inflation money and are paid out in two steps of 1,500 euros per person: no later than January 2023 and January 2024. The permanent wage increases also take place in two steps: there is a plus of 3.25 percent from January 2023 and a further 3.25 percent from January 2024. Companies in economic difficulties can postpone the two steps of the wage increase by up to three months by means of company agreements. The package is valid for 1900 companies.

“With this result, we keep the balance between the competitiveness of the company and the interests of our employees,” said Kai Beckmann, President of the BAVC. The deputy chairman of the IG BCE, Ralf Sikorski, spoke of the “highest wage increase in the chemical industry for more than 30 years”.

As early as April, IG BCE and BAVC had agreed on a partial settlement as a bridging solution due to the uncertainty surrounding the Ukraine war and the high inflation .

Collective bargaining was affected by the gas crisis, which is particularly affecting the energy-intensive chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The industry can only pass on the high prices for gas and electricity to customers to a limited extent. With a share of 15 percent, the industry is the largest German gas consumer, accounting for almost a third of industrial consumption. The deal in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry could signal how other industries are dealing with record inflation.

The pensions of civil servants in Germany are on average significantly higher than the pensions. A request from the Ministry of the Interior shows that citizens would have to work 78 years for similar retirement benefits from the state treasury.

As a result of the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley, Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) has already resigned. The CDU is also demanding political consequences for Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD). She texted the former interior minister during the death tide. Twelve of these messages have now been published.

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