Kramp-Karrenbauer: “Hands off the minimum wage”

by Thorsten Koch

A proposal by economic policy makers within the Union parties has raised criticism from many sides, namely to abstain from raising the statutory minimum wage in 2021 – or even to lower its rate.

CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer opposed calls to freeze or lower the minimum wage. She wrote on Twitter: “Hands off the minimum wage.” There will be chances for investment, and some level of liquidity for investments will be guaranteed during the course of negotiations on the stimulus package, but not “on the backs of the workers”, Kramp-Karrenbauer said. CDU General Secretary Ziemiak emphasized that if some wanted to melt the minimum wage, that was far from being a position of the whole party.

Restrain or increase?

A paper by the Economic and Energy Working Group of the Union Group in the Bundestag proposes to suspend the increase in the statutory minimum wage in 2021, which is currently 9.35 Euros. The chairman of the economy commission of the Union parties, Feld, had also suggested that a minimum wage increase should at least be restrained.

In the new year, contrary to those wanting to limit the minimum wage, the specialized Minimum Wage Commission could suggest an increase. The group includes employers, unions and experts. A board member of the German Trade Union Confederation, Körzell, proposed an increase to 12 euros of the minimum wage, on the grounds that people had to be able to live from their work even during hard times such as the Corona crisis.

CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak said that people who work for minimum wages had a particularly difficult time during the current corona crisis. He named rising food prices. Discussions about a lowering of the minimum wage are “no position of the CDU at all”. Good jobs should be preserved. In addition, the economy needs to be boosted.

Laumann against reluctance to pay the minimum wage

Karl-Josef Laumann, Federal Chairman of the Christian Democratic Workers’ Association (CDA), said: “We now have to ensure that as few people as possible become unemployed. But this must not be done through cheap jobs.” According to Laumann, the economy could not be unilaterally boosted by “hitting necks” in millions of cases.

The CDU politician praised the social security funds: “Short-time work benefits and the financing of hospitals would not have been possible without the social security funds.” When the Corona crisis is over, “we have to renovate the broken parts of our social market economy. For example, we need more collective agreements” between companies and trade unions, warned Laumann.

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