Saxony / Germany: Collective bargaining for almost 7,000 workers prevented

June 20, 2023

Security industry in Saxony – trade union representatives of the DGB and the DBB torpedo the generally binding nature of the collective agreement, prevent collective bargaining for almost 7,000 workers and promote wage dumping

On 14 June 2023, the temporarily interrupted collective bargaining committee meeting of 8 March 2023 at the Saxon State Ministry of Economics and Labour on the application of the employers’ association for the private security industry – the BDSW Federal Association of the Security Industry – for the declaration of general applicability (AVE) of the collective agreement for security services in the Free State of Saxony was continued, after two workers’ representatives of the DGB and the DBB had to be excluded from the collective bargaining committee meeting due to bias in the meeting of 8 March 2023.

In disregard of the legal requirements under the Collective Bargaining Act for the granting of the AVE, the workers’ representatives of the DGB, IG Metall and the Saxon Civil Servants’ Federation prevented the extension of the above-mentioned collective agreement between the BDSW and the GÖD trade union to all workers in the security industry in the Free State of Saxony.

For years, the representatives of the DGB in particular, without any meaningful or factual argument, have been deliberately opposing the generally binding nature (AVE) of the collective agreement in the security industry in Saxony with pronounced double standards and exclusively on the basis of trade union ideological interests, abusing the collective bargaining committee – a supreme state authority of the Saxon State Ministry. The real background is that since 1999 sectoral collective agreements have been agreed with the GÖD, a union in the Christian Trade Union Confederation (CGB), and not with ver.di.

Since the DGB would like to position ver.di as a negotiating partner, the AVE with the GÖD as a collective bargaining partner is regularly refused in committee, although the public interest in the AVE exists and the refusal of the AVE is therefore unlawful.

It is precisely the DGB, which always and constantly calls for collective bargaining, that is deliberately preventing almost 7,000 workers in the private security sector in companies in Saxony that are not bound by collective agreements from benefiting from the higher wages and bonuses of the regional collective agreement that has been submitted for AVE, but instead only earn the statutory minimum wage without time bonuses!

The workers in question, including ver.di’s own workers, are thus deprived of additional earnings of almost 10 per cent – which is quite a lot of money for the individual worker at the minimum wage level.

This behaviour can only be described as unfair and disregarding the legislator and case law.

The representatives of the above-mentioned trade unions, with their exclusively trade union-ideological rejection of the AVE, are deliberately encouraging competition, especially in public procurement, to be fought out at below-tariff wage dumping prices and lowest-cost awards. This is because the significantly higher collectively agreed wages of the collective bargaining companies have to compete with minimum wage companies that are not bound by collective agreements; a fatal undesirable development that leads to blatant economic distortions and massive distortions of competition.

The lack of collective bargaining coverage is not only a problem for employees who do not have a collective agreement from which they can benefit, but a problem for society as a whole. Because due to the lack of collective bargaining coverage and the torpedoed AVE by workers’ representatives of the Saxon collective bargaining committee, they contribute directly to the state’s annual income tax losses of 1.3 billion euros for their part in Saxony. The same applies to the social security funds, which are short 2.2 billion euros annually (as of 2021) due to wage dumping and the lack of collective bargaining agreements.

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