On 3 July, the German Bundestag adopted a new Minimum Wage Bill, fulfilling an important election pledge of the SPD. Our German Social Democrat member party had made this legislation a core condition of the coalition agreement with their partners in Government. Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and SPD leader hailed the moment as “a historic day” for Germany, and a sign of “great social progress”.
PES President Sergei Stanishev welcomed the new rules in Germany, “The SPD have again shown that our political family has the most progressive ideas in Europe. I congratulate Sigmar Gabriel and the German Social Democrats for this success. The fight for decent jobs was an important part of the PES policy programme in the recent European elections. I am delighted to see our member parties fighting this battle at national level too.”
PES Secretary General Achim Post, a member of the German Bundestag, said “This is a proud moment for our party, and our wider political family. We have shown once more that the Social Democrats are the party that protect our citizens’ interests first. The minimum wage is a key tool in the fight against inequality & exploitation in our society. It helps guarantee decent jobs and quality of life for people across Germany.”
The minimum wage across Germany will now be €8.50 per hour, with some limited exceptions. It will be compulsory from 2015 with a two year-transition period granted to some sectors. The measure is expected to boost the salaries of over 3 million German workers.