IG Metall boss calls for fair distribution of burdens in pandemic | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – On Labor Day, IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann called on politicians to share the costs of the corona pandemic fairly.

On the one hand, stock markets were booming and there has never been such a rapid increase in billionaires, the unionist told the editorial network Germany (RND). At the same time, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and more people are dependent on Hartz IV.

“The risks of the pandemic and transformation cannot be borne by employees alone, while others take advantage of their opportunities,” Hofmann warned. The pandemic is not only leaving victims and losers, there are also profiteers. “This massive imbalance can also shake up the political arena,” Hofmann warned. “That’s why we need resolute political action on burden sharing.”

The German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB) has called Labor Day this year under the heading “Solidarity is the future”. DGB Chairman Reiner Hoffmann and Hamburg State Chairman Katja Karger are expected at the main meeting in Hamburg. In addition to on-site campaigns, the (DGB) wants to broadcast a live stream on 1 May, just like last year. “Because one thing is more important than ever today: show that the unions are working for the people of this country,” said the trade union federation’s appeal.

In Potsdam, Federal Finance Minister and SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as well as Green Leader and designated Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, want to speak.

The president of the services union Verdi, Frank Werneke, demanded that the federal government act quickly before the general elections in September. “The millions of people facing short-time working who often fear for their jobs – as well as the millions of workers in systemically important areas who have accomplished extraordinary things in recent months under the conditions of the corona pandemic, expect more than just warm words,” announced Werneke On.

In particular, many health and social services workers are disappointed and angry at the federal government’s failure to act. “We expect concrete improvements – also during this term,” says Werneke.

The Federal Health Minister has done nothing so far to improve the workforce in hospitals. “We therefore expect the federal government, and in particular Minister Spahn, to campaign for the implementation of the generally binding collective labor agreement in elderly care,” said Werneke.

SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil generally called for higher wages for employees bearing special burdens in the corona pandemic. “Those who have been running our country for over a year in the corona pandemic, in hospitals and nursing homes, in schools and nurseries, or at supermarket checkouts, are the top performers in our society,” Klingbeil told Funke media group newspapers. . “They deserve more respect for their work and that should be reflected in better working conditions and higher wages.”

On the other hand, Paul Ziemiak, secretary general of the CDU, emphasized the effectiveness of short-time working benefits in the fight against unemployment. He is pleased that the labor market is stable despite the pandemic. The short-time working allowance is the key to success and a “firewall against mass unemployment,” said Ziemiak of the German news agency.

SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans called for Labor Day to limit fixed-term employment contracts. Especially when starting a career, employees need perspective and planning security, he told the German news agency. “It is unreasonable if they have to shift from one fixed-term contract to another and live in constant uncertainty as to whether they can afford the vacation, the vehicle or their own four walls.” The law proposed by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) must now come quickly.

Heil wants to limit the duration and frequency of employment contracts that are limited in time for no objective reason. Many deadlines are not operationally necessary, but only a means of circumventing dismissal protection, he had justified. In addition, deadlines for a material reason – for example, replacements of parental leave or peaks in orders – should no longer be indefinite.