CBA nowhere in sight in Germany’s construction industry

A collective bargaining agreement covering 850,000 workers in Germany’s construction industry was not reached after three rounds of negotiations between unions and employers ended on 25 June. As a result, the negotiating committee unanimously recommended IG BAU to call for an arbitration process which gives both parties 14 days to come to an agreement. 

The main points of disagreements between trade unions and employers concern wage increases and travel compensation for workers going to construction sites in the midst of a pandemic. According to IG BAU, despite the COVID-19 crisis, the German construction industry is thriving, thus, capable of providing workers fair compensation for their hard work during the health crisis. Employers, however, refuted IG BAU’s claim, saying that COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainly to the industry, which they said led them to reject all of the trade unions’ CBA proposals.  

IG BAU Board member and negotiator Carsten Burckhardtn said that they have already made numerous suggestions to employers to reach a compromise. “It’s now time to find a solution. If we don’t find a compromise at the end of the arbitration process, our obligation to maintain industrial peace ends.”