Throughout the European Union, wages have decreased by an average of 0.7% this year. In contrast, company profits increased by 1.5%.
According to EKP data real wages fell while real earnings rose in nine member states, including Germany, France and Italy. In another 10 Member States, the increase in real earnings was greater than the increase in real wages.
The biggest increase in real earnings was in Slovakia (+8%) and Romania (+7%), where real wage growth was negative. The biggest declines in real wages were in the Czech Republic (-5%) and Italy (-2%), where earnings increased in real terms.
The data show that working people are still forced to pay the price of the inflationary crisis, caused mainly by corporations taking advantage of supply problems to increase their profit margins, EKP commented.
Since the start of the pandemic in the EU, dividend payments to shareholders have grown up to 13 times faster than wages in the EU.
The IMF warned of the risk of wage growth
“After the pandemic, the wages of European workers are falling, even though the profits of companies are increasing. CEOs and shareholders get richer while people working long hours in tough jobs struggle to feed their families and heat their homes“, commented the general secretary of the European confederation, Esther Lynch.
“However, many politicians have made working people pay the price of this crisis. The European elections should be a turning point. It is time for policies to tackle the root cause of this crisis – corporate greed – and ensure a fair deal for working people. We call on democratic European political parties to ensure that the far right is not given the opportunity to capitalize on the growing anger. The only way to do this is to offer real solutions to the cost of living crisis and start building a Europe based on big jobs and a high standard of living for all,” she pointed out.
At the same time, child poverty in the EU is increasing for the third consecutive year, as the prices of basic food products continue to rise up to seven times faster than wages, the confederation reminds.
From there, they published the analysis ahead of the presentation of their “Fair Deal for Workers” manifesto for the upcoming European elections in 2024.
The ECP manifesto for the European elections calls on politicians to support the following policies:
– Taxes on excess profits that led to inflation.
– Revision of the public procurement directives, which make companies’ access to public funding conditional on compliance with the right to collective wage bargaining.
– Rapid transposition of the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive at national level, with a target of 80% collective bargaining coverage in each Member State.
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