The trade union federation not only speaks out clearly against further open sundays. Regional manager mathias eckardt also sees a need for action on the issues of training, home office or the awarding of public contracts.
All economic players are now aware of the scale of the crisis. "After nearly a decade of upswing with steady employment growth and – thanks to good collective bargaining agreements – real wage increases, the global corona pandemic is causing an unprecedented economic collapse", says mathias eckardt, DGB regional manager in upper franconia. Many are only now realizing the stabilizing effect of a strong welfare state.
An existential issue for upper franconia is currently becoming even more pronounced: the considerable problems in recruiting young talent due to the demographic problem. "In dual training, we have seen a drop of over 20 percent in the number of apprenticeships filled at the chamber of industry and commerce for upper franconia in bayreuth, for example, and more than ten percent among craftsmen, eckardt pointed out the figures.
"I am afraid that the dual system will corrode. We can’t afford a lost year", warned eckardt. Corona lame a lot, he observed. But the issue of education must not be sacrificed to the corona pandemic, otherwise this will be bitterly regretted in three to four years. In this context, the DGB is calling for a massive expansion of local public transportation, since young people need to be able to reach their vocational school and company easily and inexpensively. In addition, a cost-efficient 365-euro azubi ticket is needed across the board.
Pilot region for 5G network?
All in all, upper franconia could only hold its own in global competition if employees were not only lured with lower living costs. The difference to other areas is no longer as clear as it used to be. "Shortage of skilled workers can only be countered with decent pay", said eckardt. And higher incomes can only be achieved through collective bargaining agreements.
In the transformation of the automotive supply industry, the DGB trade unions are proposing the establishment of a regional transformation cluster. The aim is to obtain federal and state funding, if possible in cooperation with chambers of commerce and municipalities. "This should be more than just another round table", demanded the DGB chairman.
Clear agreements needed
In order to advance digitization, eckardt calls for upper franconia to be designated as a pilot region for the expansion of the 5G network. In addition, the technology alliance of upper franconia – an association of the four universities in upper franconia – should work more closely with companies in the region on the topic of "artificial intelligence" work.
On the topic of "home office", which was pushed during the corona crisis DGB calls for compliance with co-determination and health rules. Doris stadelmeyer, the union’s managing director, warned of the problem of split workforces in home offices. "Service you can’t do from home", she said. In this context, employee representatives had to ensure that there was at least freedom of choice and that the employer did not unilaterally set the conditions and pass on the risks of mobile working to the workforce.
"We are at the beginning of a development that suddenly came over us with corona, eckardt noted. Martin feder, the new first authorized representative of IG metall bamberg, gave the advice to think through the issue without corona when negotiating regulations on home office. According to the german federation of trade unions (DGB), bavaria is the only state apart from saxony that does not have a public procurement law with regulations on wage compliance. "We need this for public contracts to prevent wage dumping", said eckardt. The most favorable bidder is still simply awarded the contract, without any consideration of social or ecological issues. And quality is also falling by the wayside. "Things cannot go on like this!"
Sunday under pressure
The current discussion about sunday off is a thorn in the side of the DGB. "Time and again, there are attempts to expand sunday shopping by law or municipal ordinances," said eckardt, reported eckardt. This is against the basic law, which expressly protects sundays. The DGB will defend this "cultural asset that has always had to be protected from economic interests", continue to put all our efforts into it. You can’t demand open sundays at will – not even at corona times.