UNI Europa’s Graphical sector met again in Brussels after two years of Covid Pandemic to discuss Collective Bargaining in a scenario dominated by high inflation. After analysing the collective bargaining situation in 15 countries, the collective bargaining conference found that, in most cases, inflation is far above wage increases, undermining the purchasing power of families to the point that we can speak of a cost-of-living crisis.
Similar to other sectors, employers in the Graphical and Packaging sectors are opposing wage increases that would preserve the purchasing power of wages. Meanwhile, these same employers are increasing their profits by raising prices above the increase in production costs, thus contributing to spiralling inflation.
However, the recurrent argument of the employers’ side that raising wages to cope with inflation would force up prices and push inflation even higher, the truth is that wage increases that maintain the purchasing power of households could easily be absorbed within the cost structure with little impact on either unit costs or profits.
Instead, the conference noted a desire by corporations to use the crisis caused by the Covid Pandemic and the war in Ukraine to increase their share of the wealth generated to the detriment of workers’ incomes and the purchasing power of families. In short, corporate managements are trying to take advantage of the worst pandemic in a hundred years and an extremely cruel and unfair war to make profits and build a more unfair society.
Read the latest Collective Bargaining Trends report.
The conference statement can be read below: