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Source: DGB – Federal Executive Board PM 027 – 01.05.20201. May 2020 “Solidarity is not alone”! DGB celebrates May 1, 2020 on the netUnder the motto “Solidarity is not alone”, the German Trade Union Confederation broadcasts a three-hour live stream from DGB headquarters in Berlin on May 1, today. “This is a historic event,” said DGB Chairman Reiner Hoffmann. “For the first time since the founding of the German Trade Union Confederation, there are no demonstrations and rallies on streets and squares on Labor Day this year. Solidarity these days means keeping your distance. ”Nevertheless, union cohesion is more topical than ever. “Solidarity has taken on a whole new meaning in the Corona crisis,” says Hoffmann. “In these difficult weeks it becomes clear how important it is that we stand together in solidarity and don’t leave anyone alone. We are fighting to ensure that the cost of the crisis does not stick to the workers. We argue that inequality in the country will not continue to grow. “With regard to the corona crisis, Hoffmann says:” We are currently facing the greatest crisis since World War II. The Federal Government’s swift and decisive action was correct, and we also support the rescue packages for the economy. Now, however, it is important to secure employment in the long term and prevent social drifting apart. ”That is why, according to the DGB boss, a targeted, sustainable economic stimulus program is needed,“ not only to re-stimulate the economy, but also to help society To tackle challenges that existed before the crisis. The climate crisis and digital change do not stop at the virus either. ”Hoffmann warns employers against curtailing employee rights in the current crisis:“ It is becoming clear just how important employee participation rights are, particularly when it comes to and health protection. That has to be the focus if it is a matter of a careful return to social and economic life in the next few weeks. “It is wrong to extend working hours and reduce rest periods now. “People are already working on the limits of resilience,” says Hoffmann. The May motto “Solidarity is not alone” also applies to Europe: “The virus knows no limits. Only with cross-border cooperation, only with joint, courageous action can we end the crisis and preserve a democratic, peaceful Europe. The struggle to cope with the crisis is also a fight to defend fundamental rights and freedoms and our democracy. ”Deputy DGB chairwoman Elke Hannack called for more money for employees in systemically relevant professions. “Nurses, sales assistants, nursing staff and employees in the logistics industry must finally be paid properly – ideally through collective agreements. One-off surcharges are not enough, ”emphasized the DGB vice-president. Since it is becoming apparent that day care centers and schools could not immediately go back to normal operations because of Corona, the state urgently needs to improve the aid for parents and single parents. “The emergency family aid must be extended and increased to 80 percent of the net salary.” What is important is a statutory leave of absence, “which the parents could also take advantage of on an hourly or daily basis so that they can take care of the children together. Otherwise, after the crisis, we run the risk that outdated role models will solidify again: women in the home office plus child rearing and household chores, while the men work full time. With a view to the fact that companies are less willing to train before the crisis, Hannack said: “I expect from the Employers right now that they strive for every apprenticeship. Even before Corona, only every fifth company trained. In order to ensure that the chances of young people do not drop drastically in the face of the Corona crisis, we also need more external positions in the new training year. Our proposal for a protective screen for trainees is on the table. Now economy ministers and employers have to move. “DGB board member Stefan Körzell said:” Now in the crisis it is becoming clear how important collective agreements are. Wherever they apply, for example in the automotive industry, system catering, the chemical industry, in the public service of local authorities and in many other industries, short-time work benefits are increased to 90 or even 100 percent. This secures jobs and the income of millions of employees. ”To entrepreneurs who do not increase the short-time allowance, said Körzell:“ It cannot be that there are employers who get 100 percent reimbursement of social security contributions, while employees who do not receive the corresponding Collective bargaining regulations are protected, with 60 and 67 percent of their last net salary, respectively. ”For the period after the crisis, Körzell called for a comprehensive economic stimulus program,“ in order to boost the economy after the crisis and at the same time set the course for its transformation . What is important is more and permanent investment in better equipment for hospitals, schools and authorities. At the same time, it is about new mobility, the climate-friendly restructuring of our industry and thus securing millions of well-paid industrial jobs. The European Union must also do its part for this. “The member states must cushion the social and economic consequences together, through a large-scale European investment and development program. But also through joint government bonds, ”emphasized the trade unionist. To finance the crisis, Körzell demanded a fair tax system. “Top earners and wealthy can cope better with the burden of the crisis. The richest hundredth of the population in Germany alone has net assets of around EUR 3,800 billion. With a fair wealth and inheritance tax, these assets can help overcome the crisis. ”Annelie Buntenbach, DGB board member, said of the current labor market figures:“ The number of companies and employees in short-time work is higher than ever before. But short-time work works: Where short-time work is registered, jobs should be retained. This prevents unemployment figures from shooting through the roof. The dam keeps short-time working and we have to do everything to ensure that it does not break. ”Buntenbach welcomed the increase in short-time benefits as a success for the unions, but urged further improvements. “There is still social hardship. For those who have been shouldering loss of income of up to 40 percent for four weeks now, the help must come faster and not staggered and come after months. ”Buntenbach continued:“ Carers and garbage collectors, cleaning staff and parcel carriers, salespeople are now right in the crisis Celebrated as everyday heroes – they deserve more than cheap applause. We finally want more wages and decent working conditions, especially for these professional groups. Wherever work runs and starts again, occupational health and safety must come first! The crisis has shown how important well-functioning social security systems are – they stand between people and their fear of existence. You can rely on unemployment insurance, health insurance, but also reliable payments of the statutory pension. No privatized system, capital market or healthcare system can do that if it is more and more geared towards returns and competition instead of good care and the common good. ”


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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure need be perfect.

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