How should politicians address the high inflation? Verdi boss Frank Werneke makes proposals that go beyond collective agreements.

In view of ever-increasing consumer prices, Verdi boss Frank Werneke believes that compensation through higher wages is inevitable.

“Our course is very clear: Permanently rising prices must be fully offset by permanent collective wage increases,” said the union chairman of the German Press Agency.

He expects further relief for the population from the federal government – especially with regard to the significantly increased food prices. The pressure on people is “huge”, there is a great need for relief measures that go beyond collective agreements, the Verdi boss affirmed.

Werneke correctly named Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) plan to consult with employers and trade unions promptly about current price developments. “Basically, we accept every invitation, and there is also a lot to talk about,” said Werneke. The voting process – also called “concerted action” – should begin before the summer break.

With regard to the aim of the consultations, however, the Verdi boss warned that wage negotiations should not be involved: “Politics should stay out of these things.”

Large rounds of collective bargaining are pending for his union in the coming year, including in the public sector. In view of the current price pressure, Werneke made it clear that there would be no wage restraint in the negotiations.

He also fears “no attempts at manipulation by the federal government,” emphasized the Verdi boss. “We will stick to our collective bargaining course, and it will certainly not be influenced by the political framework.”