MIL OSI translation. Region: Germany/Germany –
Source: DGB – Federal Board PM 022 – 01.05.20221. May 2022″Shape the future together!” – DGB celebrates Labor Day on May 1The German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) celebrates Labor Day under the motto “Shape the future together!” – in the third year of the corona pandemic, again with rallies Place on the streets and squares throughout Germany.DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann expressed his dismay at the war in Ukraine at the central rally in Berlin and condemned the attack, which violated international law. “With Putin’s criminal attack on Ukraine, war as a political tool has returned to Europe after more than 20 years. Our values such as human rights, peace and social justice cannot be taken for granted. This inhuman war is an attack on the European peace order and on our democracy,” said Hoffmann. He appealed to the Russian President to end the war immediately and called for help for those who had suffered hardship and misery in the war. In this country, it was now a question of integrating refugees. “Their qualifications must be recognized unbureaucratically. This is the only way they can quickly find good work that is decently paid.” In view of the question of the future peace and security order in Europe, he warned of a new phase of confrontation and a permanent increase in the armaments budget: “We say no to militarization and massive rearmament . We need this money for future investments in the transformation. And we need it for the efficiency of our welfare state. Military peacekeeping must never be bought at the expense of social peace.” The war also affects the economy and energy supply in this country. “Energy prices are barely affordable for many people and for some companies. Countermeasures must be taken here.” Hoffmann called for independence from energy imports. “The traffic light coalition has drawn up an ambitious energy policy program. The trade unions will support them in this – but they will also take a very close look. We need affordable energy for everyone.” In her speech at the Römer in Frankfurt in May, the deputy chairwoman of the DGB, Elke Hannack, called for significantly better wages for employees in the social and educational professions. In view of the current collective bargaining round in this area, she asked employers: “Finally pay your colleagues the necessary respect for their work! Finally make a decent offer! Working conditions must finally improve, wages must go up!” It was “scandalous that the municipal employers’ associations still haven’t got a single idea, even after the second round of negotiations, to relieve the colleagues who are working to the point of exhaustion or to financially recognize their work! And that, although the shortage of skilled workers continues to spread, sick leave is high due to the poor working conditions and many simply can no longer do it.” For the education sector, the DGB Vice-President demanded more investment in school buildings and kindergartens, for more staff and for and further education. “Our education system is not prepared for the changes in socio-ecological transformation and the need for qualified specialists,” stressed Hannack. “Too many young people leave school without a degree. Too many young people remain without an apprenticeship. Too many people remain without a professional qualification. We expect the federal government to act now and fulfill what was agreed in the coalition agreement. This includes the expansion of early childhood education, a modernized BAföG, better support for further education and finally a pay-as-you-go training guarantee.” According to Hannack, it must “be an end to the fact that only around 20 percent of the companies train and the other 80 percent of the companies rest on their laurels and do not train a single young person.” Stefan Körzell, DGB board member, pointed out at the May Rally in Leipzig on the still existing wage gap between East and West: “This has to end! It’s time for employers to get on track here.” Where collective agreements apply, the gap between East and West wages is almost even. But in many cases, according to Körzell, “employers flee from collective agreements. They still haven’t understood that a good working atmosphere and satisfied employees are important for business success.” “We also need the protection of collective agreements in the event of company transfers, outsourcing and restructuring. Public contracts should only go to companies that are bound by collective bargaining agreements. Many employees, especially women, benefit from this in eastern Germany in particular. For the coal regions, Körzell called for a forward-looking structural policy with sufficient qualification and training opportunities. “The funds promised by the federal government must finally be used to create new, well-paid jobs. “Everyone has to sit down at one table, politicians, trade unions, employers, the Federal Employment Agency, science and last but not least works and staff councils.” Körzell also called for massive investments in infrastructure, for education and social affairs, for roads, schools and health. The state needs more revenue for this. “Companies, top earners and wealthy households must contribute more to the community. Employees finance most of the public spending with their taxes. Politicians must ensure more justice here, otherwise social cohesion will fall by the wayside.” DGB board member Anja Piel reminded in Kassel how important a strong welfare state is in times of crisis: “It was the welfare state that gave us security anchors brought through the crisis. We trade unions fought for higher short-time work benefits on the side of the employees and prevented unemployment. With easier access to basic security, the direst hardship was averted for many. Together we have ensured that employers take their share of the responsibility for health and safety, costs for tests and masks. We firmly rejected every neoliberal attack on our security systems, fought for continued wages in quarantine, for child sickness benefits,” Piel summed up. But the crisis also revealed gaps. “Anyone who already has a mini-income is not well protected by the proportionate short-time work allowance. That’s why there must be a lower stop line for short-time work benefits in the future,” Piel demanded. Thousands of mini-jobs were also lost during the crisis. Many ended up in basic social security. “The fact that the traffic light now wants to expand mini-jobs is a huge mistake,” warned the trade unionist. Also in the future and in view of the war in Ukraine there is a lot of work ahead of the trade unions. “The rising energy prices and inflation make it clear once again how important fair burden sharing is, especially in times of crisis. We think of people in work as well as those who are unemployed, of young people in schools, training and studies as well as of our older people with small pensions and of children whose poverty we have to limit with real basic child security,” says Piel.Die Speeches by the DGB board members for download:
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.