BDSI and German NGG trade union strike nationwide pay deal following strike action

A key breakthrough has been achieved in an ongoing pay dispute within Germany’s confectionery manufacturing sector being settled, with an upgraded offer accepted by workers in the sector, following industrial action during the past month, reports Neill Barston.

The new deal has been agreed by the sector’s federal body, the BDSI, and the Food-Genuss-Gaststätten (NGG) trade union agreed on a new collective agreement for around 60,000 employees in the sweets and snacks industry in the late evening in negotiations this week in Hamburg.

Under the terms of the 14 month agreement, workers will receive wage increases of €350 in the lower wage groups A to E and €300 for wage groups F to M. In addition, in 2023 and 2024, employees will receive an inflation compensation premium to compensate for the increased cost of living of €500 each (€1,000 in total). The term of the new collective agreement is 14 months (requirement 12 months).

The BDSI, which represented more than 200 mid-sized German confectionery companies, had expressed concerns over the legality of the strikes and had asked regional courts to deliver a ruling to that effect, but it believed that the settlement arrived at was ‘a balanced compromise’ under the circumstances, with Germany having experienced ongoing major supply chain challenges that have seen the energy and ingredients prices significantly increase in the past year – threatening the viability of the confectionery sector.

As the organisation noted, the extraordinary economic conditions for employees as well as the special challenges for employers have prompted the parties to the collective bargaining agreement to exceptionally negotiate the wages for the confectionery industry nationwide this year, instead of separately in nine collective bargaining regions. ”

We welcome the fact that we managed to prevent further industrial action and that we reached a collective agreement after intensive negotiations,” commented Ernst Kammerinke, managing director of the BDSI. “The term of 14 months gives companies and employees planning security for incomes well into the year 2024 in an extremely uncertain economic environment”.


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