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Metal and Technology: Collective Labor Agreement negotiations

After we suspended the collective labor agreement negotiations, we made a new, ultimate attempt on 14 October to agree a new collective labor agreement with employers for the Metal and Technology sector. Unfortunately, this did not significantly improve what employers had already put on the table. For that reason De Unie concluded together with the other trade unions that we are not getting any further at the negotiating table and that we are out of negotiations for the moment.

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Over the past few weeks we have discussed the employers' proposals with the members and asked them what they think of the (deterioration) proposals from their employers. Our members unanimously rejected these proposals and asked us to make a last-ditch effort to work it out with the employers.

Despite our feedback on the response from our members during the October 14 meeting, the employers did not come up with better proposals. The only thing they have added after 5 days of negotiation is a laughable wage offer.

What do the employers offer?

In broad terms, there is currently a final offer from employers with the following points:

  • A wage offer of € 42,50 per 1/1/2022 with a term of 12 months. With an average wage of € 38.000, that is only 1.4%! The nominal amount is not even enough to compensate for your rising energy bill, let alone increase your purchasing power. With this, the employers literally leave you and your colleagues out in the cold!
  • Heavy professions scheme (RVU) to be able to stop working earlier only if we agree to the following significant deteriorations:
    • The Generation Pact: from 60 years only if your employer approves and from 63 years and 4 months only as a right. If you participate in the Generation Pact, you are no longer allowed to participate in RVU. If you want to participate in RVU, you are not allowed to participate in the Generation Pact.
    • Hand in senior days and move from now 54 to 60 years
    • Making the elderly obliged to work overtime and also in shifts up to 10 years for AOW, so from now 55 to 57 years
  • No agreements for better and healthier schedules
  • Employers will do their best to hire 2.500 temporary workers (so effort is no guarantee!)
  • They want to raise youth wages by 5%, which seems like a lot, but even then the young people are still far behind other technical sectors. Moreover, the youth scales in the Collective Labor Agreement Metalektro will simply be abolished.

What will De Unie?

These proposals are very far from the introduce of De Unie and they are not aimed at retaining the hardworking craftsmen. The wage offer is lower than the inflation level and it absolutely does not lead to an improvement in purchasing power. Moreover, these proposals will not make the sector more attractive to the new talent that employers desperately need now and in the future given economic growth and the growing tightness in the labor market. In fact, with this final offer, employers are opening the door wide for employees to leave for other sectors. With the departure of colleagues, they create even bigger problems for themselves but especially for those loyal colleagues who continue to work in the sector. For them, the workload, which is already very high, will only increase.

We are still sticking to our proposals regarding, among other things, a responsible wage increase (inflation + 1%), new agreements to increase sustainable employability (better attunement through work-life balance), continuation and further development of the Generation Pact and possibilities to save extra leave.

In the coming days we will again consult with our members about our next steps to convince the employer of the need for a responsible collective labor agreement in the interest of all employees and in the interest of the Metal and Technology sector. If employers do not change their mind in the coming days, this could even lead to an ultimatum on behalf of De Unie.

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If you would like to give us any comments for the upcoming negotiation round, please contact us by email metal@unie.nl.