German cleaners to strike over Christmas bonuses

3rd of December 2018
German cleaners to strike over Christmas bonuses

Staff responsible for cleaning commercial buildings in Germany are threatening to strike following a row over Christmas bonuses.

The nation's industrial union for construction, agriculture and the environment is demanding that its 450,000 commercial building cleaners be given an additional payment equating to around half a month's salary. The building cleaning sector is currently one of the few occupations in Germany where there is no collectively agreed Christmas allowance for staff.

"Most of the employees in the cleaning sector work in the lowest wage group," said IG BAU federal board member and chief negotiator Ulrike Laux. "They work reliably and hard. Therefore, a Christmas bonus would be particularly important for them as a recognition for their efforts."

At the beginning of November, the German Federal Guild Association of the Cleaning Trade (BIV) rejected IG BAU's demand for Christmas bonuses. They pointed out that wage increases had already been earmarked for the sector with the aim of balancing out differences between the wages of building cleaners in eastern and western Germany by 2020. This left no further economic scope for Christmas bonuses, they added.

Over the past few weeks a number of protests and public demonstrations have been staged over the row.

 

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