Only seven collective labor agreements were concluded in January, the AWVN employers' association reports on Wednesday.

That number is much smaller than in previous years and in December 2020. In the last month of last year, 25 agreements were reached.

Due to the corona crisis, companies are more reluctant to make concessions.

The main cause of the standstill in collective bargaining negotiations is said to be that unions and employers are not aligned due to the corona crisis.

Unions see room for higher salaries, especially in sectors or industries benefiting from the corona crisis, but companies are reluctant to take too many risks due to the uncertain economic conditions.

Employers would like a system in which certain conditions must be met in order to increase wages.

According to them, this makes the companies more resistant to economic headwinds.

Trade unions, on the other hand, argue for structural wage increases.

At the moment, there are mainly union actions in the supermarket sector and metal companies.

The average wage agreement was 2.3 percent in January.

The AWVN says that not much value should be attached to this figure, because only such a small number of collective labor agreements have been concluded.

There are currently 300 open collective labor agreements that apply to two billion employees.

139 of them expired in January, the rest from last year.