With record inflation, wage demands multiply across Europe

The unions want to compensate for the increase in life hit. The ECB fears a spiral that would accelerate the rise in prices.

The 85,000 employees of the German metallurgy do not intend to suffer idly the cost of inflation, which reached 7.8% in April across the Rhine. Their powerful IG Metall union has just opened collective bargaining for the branch with a demand for an 8.2% wage increase. Discussions with employers, supposed to end this summer, are likely to be tense. They will be scrutinized in Europe because they serve as a barometer of the trend in remuneration across the continent.

With galloping inflation at 7.5% in the euro zone, which could jump up to 9% in the coming months, workers are increasingly feeling the squeeze on purchasing power. Especially since remuneration only increased by 1.2% on average in 2021, when prices had already started to soar at the end of the Covid crisis. The war in Ukraine is adding fuel to this outbreak. The demands for increases are therefore multiplying, without however managing to catch up…

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