Workers in German companies where trade unions have concluded collective agreements enjoy significantly better employment conditions than those in firms with no such deal.
For example, in companies sharing similar size, economic sector, staff qualifications and technical systems, full-time employees without agreements work on average 54 minutes longer per week and still earn 11% less than those in companies with collective agreements.
The finding comes from of a new study by the Economic and Social Science Institute (WSI) of the Hans Böckler Foundation. In times of sharply rising living costs, it means employees covered by collective agreements are better protected. "The results confirm that collective agreements bring tangible advantages for employees," says Dr. Malte Lübker, co-author of the study. "It is therefore worth fighting for a collective agreement together with your colleagues." Furthermore, the tightening labour market for skilled workers also makes collective bargaining beneficial for employers. "It makes a company attractive for job seekers - and can prevent the workforce migrating to competitors."