As a business association, VDMA also represents the interests of its members when it comes to labour-market policies. Please find below an overview of the ongoing activities of the association as well as current political developments. At the same time, we keep you up to date on collective-bargaining in the metal and electrical industries. Find out more about the job market on the website of the Competence Center Labour Market within VDMA (in German).
The number of short-time work notices in the mechanical engineering industry has risen to a record level. Now, labour market policy must not now put an unnecessary burden on companies and the social security system.
Quarantine measures for entering and returning to Germany vary from one federal state to another. This could bring more friction into production in Europe. The VDMA demands a 5-day regulation that is valid everywhere.
The mechanical engineering industry is increasingly feeling the effects of the corona pandemic; orders are reduced or even cancelled. According to the VDMA flash survey, many companies are making capacity adjustments.
The Grand Coalition wants to extend the period for which employees can receive short-time work benefits beyond 12 months. Many mechanical engineering companies could benefit from this. The government is thus fulfilling an important demand of the VDMA.
In a fire letter to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker spoke out in favour of an immediate extension of the period for which short-time work benefits are paid from 12 to 24 months.
The grand coalition has agreed in a draft bill on a decree authorization to extend short-time work. VDMA Executive Manager Thilo Brodtmann criticizes that the extension is tied to qualification measures.
In the German mechanical and plant engineering industry, the number of short-time workers rose from 4,400 to more than 20,000 between January and October 2019, according to an estimate by the Federal Employment Agency. Employees in the automotive supply industry are particularly affected. In order to avoid staff cuts, the Grand Coalition's decision to extend short-time working from 12 to 24 months should be implemented swiftly. Otherwise there is a risk of job losses.
The law on the immigration of skilled workers is an important building block to improve the situation in the future. For the first time, all the authorities and ministries needed in this process are now involved.
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry is no exception: more and more companies are opting out of the collective bargaining agreement. According to a recent VDMA survey, only 29 percent of machine builders are still bound by a sectoral collective agreement. The Grand Coalition is trying to force collective bargaining through legal measures - to the detriment of non-tariff companies. The VDMA sees this as a violation of the freedom of association enshrined in the Basic Law.
According to a recent VDMA member survey, only just under a third of German mechanical engineering companies still practise the industry-wide collective agreement. However, the VDMA is firmly opposed to attempts by the Grand Coalition to enforce collective bargaining through political pressure.
The Federal Government has the declared goal of strengthening collective bargaining - whether through statutory wage opening clauses or through tax concessions for companies subject to collective bargaining agreements. According to leading jurists, these considerations collide with freedom of association. It is clear that the collective agreement is under massive pressure. But what could be the appropriate answer? This question will be the focus of the next VDMA debate, to which we cordially invite you.
The Grand Coalition wants to change the working hours law. Companies should get more leeway in the future so that they can adapt their working hours to the requirements of increasing digitalisation, demands the VDMA.
Short-time work can be a suitable means for companies, especially in economically weaker times, to reduce costs in the short term and at the same time avoid redundancies and preserve jobs. The brochure summarises the basic principles and legal regulations.
Five years after its introduction, trade unionists and politicians have spoken out in favour of a further increase in the minimum wage. The DGB also advocates a Europe-wide minimum wage. The VDMA does not believe in the claim.
In an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine, VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker talks about the dissatisfaction of the mechanical engineering industry with federal politics, about important foreign markets and why inventive talent and quality must not be lost in Germany.
According to the idea of IG Metall, a Transformation Short-Term Worker's Compensation (Transformations-KuG) is intended to support companies and employees in coping with technological or other structural change - with the aim of keeping employees in the company and qualifying them for changed and new requirements and activities.
At the beginning of 2019, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia submitted a proposal to the Bundesrat to revise the Working Hours Act (Bundesrat-Drucksache 24/19). The vote on 15 March 2019 did not result in a sufficient majority for the project.
Neither tax concessions nor statutory tariff opening clauses are the right measures to enforce collective tariff agreements. "Politics should better stay out of the collective tariff business altogether," demands VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann.
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry can draw a proud balance for its companies on the occasion of the vocational training report adopted by the Federal Government on Wednesday: The number of trainees in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector rose again in 2018.
Especially cyclical industries such as the German mechanical and plant engineering industry are dependent on temporary employment in order to compensate for economic fluctuations. Although temporary employment is already regulated by law and collective bargaining law like hardly any other sector, politicians and trade unions repeatedly call for further regulations - up to and including a complete ban. It is a springboard in work, especially for the low-skilled and the long-term unemployed.
The EU Parliament, the EU Council and the EU Commission have reached a preliminary agreement on the Directive on transparent and reliable working conditions within the framework of the so-called trialogue on 7 February 2019. The planned Directive represents a recast of the previous Detection Directive 91/533/EEC.
Temporary work can play a key role in the recruitment and deployment of experts from other EU countries. In many cases, small and medium-sized companies in particular can hardly do without external support in the recruitment processes.
The Corporate Learning Community (CLC) is a non-commercial network of actors in operational personnel development. The activities of the community are aimed at innovative learning. Already in 2018 the VDMA took over the patronage for a so-called Learning Camp.
VDMA and IG Metall have joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in an "industry dialogue" in which they have committed themselves to using the economic opportunities arising from digitisation and artificial intelligence to secure the future of mechanical and plant engineering.
On the occasion of the latest labour market figures of the Federal Labour Office, VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann demands that temporary employment in the recruitment of skilled workers from third countries should not be ruled out.
The mechanical and plant engineering industry is desperately looking for skilled workers. In addition to a range of other measures such as training and flexible working hours, the immigration of skilled workers from third countries can also alleviate the shortage of skilled workers. The prerequisite, however, is that the planned Immigration Act for skilled workers is designed and implemented in a practical, transparent and unbureaucratic manner.
VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann has made a clear commitment to collective bargaining autonomy. "It is evidence that employers and employees in general can largely regulate their relationship on their own." At best, the state should set a loose labour law framework, according to Brodtmann.
Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the VDMA, has sharply criticised the pension package passed in the Bundestag with the votes of the CDU/CSU and SPD: "Basically, the money of our great-grandchildren is already being spent today".
The latest labour market figures of the Federal Employment Agency show a rampant shortage of skilled workers. According to Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the VDMA, the Federal Government is jointly responsible for this.
Machines improve our lives – on a large and small scale. Whether for our health, food or the many means of transportation that we use; whether we are looking at the ground deep below the sea or from high above – we need machines and people who utilize their skills to make the world a better place to live. That is the aim of mechanical and plant engineering. Humans – Machines – Progress.
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