BDI chief shows ‘sympathy’ for long working hours

There is a shortage of labor, and Germany is looking for solutions. Economists introduce an extension of working hours into the conversation. A procedure being considered by the President of the Confederation of German Industries (BDI), Siegfried Rossrum.

In an interview with the Funke media group, when asked about 42 hours a week, he replied, “When the baby-boom generation retires, this country will lose a significant amount of the workforce, and we already have a labor shortage in many places. Personally, I deeply sympathize with the voluntary increase. In the weekly working hours – of course with full compensation of wages. ”

Longer working hours to compensate for population growth

The BDI president argued that longer weekly hours “would certainly be easier to implement than introducing a general pension at 70”.

In the discussion about the long-term decline in income from pension insurance, economic researcher Michael Huther previously spoke in favor of 42 hours a week as the standard working time. “It takes 42 hours a week,” Huther explained. “Of course, the hours are paid — it’s not about cutting wages out the back door.” In Switzerland, he works two hours more per week than Germany, and in Sweden he works one hour more. “If you add that, it will make up for the loss of business caused by the demographic by 2030.”

Unions don’t believe in 42 hours a week

Trade unions immediately protested. DGB Board Member Anja Bell sees longer working hours as ‘cheap cheap solutions’ to aging security. And she warned of “excessive working hours” that will make you sick in the long run. Instead, in order to establish the pension insurance system in a sustainable way, it is necessary to have a nationwide wage agreement and mandatory social security from the first euro earned, with no exceptions for small jobs, seasonal work, self-employment, and the wage of the elected. representative.

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IG Metall also refused to pay for longer working hours. “Longer working hours and shorter rest periods do not lead to more skilled workers, but to over-exploitation of the health of employees,” warned union executive board member Hans-Jürgen Orban. His counter-suggestion: If you want more skilled workers, you should make jobs more attractive, provide more training and additional education, ensure more fit and reduce part-time traps, Urban warned.

Discussion also about shortening the work week

A longer work week would leave less time for honorary positions, caring for relatives, or leisure activities. In order to make professions, for example in the care sector, more attractive, a reduction in weekly working hours is instead being discussed. Although the motivation behind it is different, the debate over the four days a week is far from over.

BDI chief calls for more coal power generation

In addition to the 42-hour week, the head of BDI Rosrum also called for a change of course in electricity generation in light of the throttling of gas supplies from Russia. Speak in favor of returning more money on coal for a short time.

With materials from dpa.

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