According to Hubertus Heil, the collective bargaining agreement is currently only 48 percent. According to him, employers and unions should make improvements.

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has called on employers and trade unions to improve collective bargaining coverage in Germany. It is currently only an average of 48 percent, said Heil on Tuesday at the inauguration of the new President of the Federal Labor Court, Inken Gallner, in Erfurt.

More companies and thus employees with a collective agreement are “economically, but also socially important.”

Collective bargaining is a key element “to push back state interference,” said Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left). Ramelow, who was a trade union official before his political career, spoke of a growing number of demands that “politics should regulate the sphere of the working world”. From his point of view, this is the wrong way, the social partners are more required.

Federal Labor Court again with a woman at the top

Heil and Ramelow underlined the importance of having a woman at the head of the Federal Labor Court in Erfurt for the second time. The judge positions in the highest German labor court are equally occupied by women and men. The Federal Labor Court has a pioneering role in equality, said Heil.

Gallner had already taken over the presidency at the end of January. She had been appointed by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The 57-year-old lawyer succeeded Ingrid Schmidt, who retired at the beginning of October 2021. In 2005, Schmidt was the first woman to be appointed President of the Federal Labor Court.

During her career, Gallner has worked at various labor courts and in the state administration of her home state of Baden-Württemberg. In 2007 she became a judge at the Federal Labor Court.