After just four hours, the social partners broke off their talks on a new pay agreement for more than 430,000 commercial workers and postponed it until 28 November. Employer representative and trade president Rainer Trefelich complained that “the union was not at all prepared to seriously discuss our proposal today”. Instead, he “further increased” his demands, Trefelić said after the discussion, according to a broadcast.
“Instead, the union confronted us with a counter-demand that corresponds to an increase of up to 11.55 percent in the most important pay group. On this basis, negotiations cannot take place in a constructive, social partnership style,” Trefelic said on Thursday.
The Chamber of Commerce presented its proposal in the third round today itself. They offered a five percent increase from 2024 and an additional lump sum payment of 800 euros, regardless of salary level. The “cost of living bonus” is tax-free, meaning employees will receive more net income. The union took action to demand an 11 percent increase in wages and had always refused advance payments.