November 28, 2017

2018 collective bargaining round

Metalworking and electrical industries are gearing up for tough negotiations

Regulating collective working conditions is the job of the collective bargaining parties. In the German constitution, the freedom of collective bargaining is guaranteed and grants the right "to form associations for the protection and promotion of working and economic conditions“. This right legitimates labor unions and employers' associations to negotiate without the state interfering.

The new negotiations have started already, whereas industrial actions are permitted only after December 2017. For the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations in the Bavarian metalworking and electrical industries, the dominant metalworkers’ union in Germany, IG Metall, has provided an extensive statement of requirements including six percent wage increase with a term of 12 months as well as an individual entitlement to reduce working hours. Bertram Brossardt, CEO of vbm – Verband der Bayerischen Metall- und Elektro-Industrie e. V. (The Bavarian Employers' Association for the Metalworking and Electrical Industries with collective bargaining coverage) dismisses these requests as exorbitant, unreasonable and unrealistic.

Legal basics

Collective bargaining agreements are concluded between the individual employer and the labor union (house agreement) or between an employers' association with the labor unions (union collective bargaining agreement). There is no obligation to conclude a collective agreement. However, the German Constitution provides the option to force a collective bargaining agreement by industrial action. The law of industrial action is mainly of judicial character. Yet, it is restricted by proportionality.

Advantages of union collective bargaining

The advantages of union collective bargaining are obvious:

- Reduction of workload

- Planning dependability

- Wide acceptance

- Legal certainty

- Reliability regarding the production process


The topics that can be found in collective bargaining agreements are diverse. Collective bargaining agreements of the Bavarian metalworking and electrical industries include amongst others:

- Working time

- Annual leave / vacation

- Partial retierment

- Retirement provisions / pensions

- Qualification measures

- Temporary work

For further information on the ongoing collective bargaining round please check out Bargaining Round 01/2018 (access only with your bayme vbm membership password).


Sebastian Etzel

Tarif / Kollektive Arbeitsbedingungen / Arbeitswissenschaft

Sebastian Etzel

Friedbert Warnecke

Tarif / Kollektive Arbeitsbedingungen / Arbeitswissenschaft

Friedbert Warnecke