After seven hours of negotiations, the seventh and most recent round of discussions between the union and the Chamber of Commerce regarding this year’s wage and salary increases for approximately 200,000 employees ended without any resolution. This is the longest negotiation in the past 25 years. The two sides are at odds with the unions demanding an 11.6 percent increase to compensate for the 9.6 percent inflation, while employers have refused to agree to this demand.
Employers expressed their difficulty in negotiating, stating that they were willing to provide increases if improvements were made to the framework but criticized the unions for their uncompromising approach, indicating that they had maneuvered themselves into a dead end.
Reinhold Binder, chief negotiator for PRO-GE, mentioned that if a resolution was not achieved that day, the unions would escalate their measures. High inflation has put a strain on employees who demand fair wage and salary increases that preserve their purchasing power. On the other hand, employers argue that due to industry recession they cannot fully compensate for inflation.
The specific details of how these measures will be escalated remain uncertain as it is left up to individual companies to decide on how they can extend their strikes. For example, large companies may consider extending strikes to multiple shifts while others may extend them to two consecutive days.