Pilot collective agreement for Northrhine-Westphalia hard-coal mining

On 21 May 1997, the miners' trade union, IGBE, the salaried employees' union, DAG, and the UVR employers' association struck a pilot collective agreement for the hard-coal mining industry in Northrhine-Westphalia.

On 21 May 1997, after five bargaining rounds, the miners' trade union Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau und Energie (IGBE), the salaried employees' union Deutsche Angestelltengewerkschaft (DAG) and the Unternehmensverband Ruhrbergbau (UVR) employers' association for the hard-coal mining industry in Northrhine-Westphalia, concluded a pilot agreement which covers roughly 75,000 employees in the Northrhine-Westphalia hard-coal mining industry. The framework for the contents of the agreement was partly set by the "coal compromise" of 13 March 1997 (DE9703104F).

The package deal includes the following:

  • An additional collective agreement on the shape of the adjustment process fixes the intention of the signatories to avoid redundancies which will lead to unemployment. Furthermore, the parties agree the possibility of additional unworked shifts for the period between 1998 and 2000. Taking into account the level of overstaffing, the bargaining partners will annually determine the necessary number of unworked shifts. All unworked shifts are credited to the individual employee's working time account. The unworked shifts are financed by cuts of 0.5% in the Christmas bonus for each worker.
  • All vocational trainees who pass their final examinations in 1997 will be taken on. The taking-on of 1998's vocational trainees will be subject to negotiation.
  • Under certain circumstances, extra working time on Saturdays is possible. Extra time, as well as working on Sundays and bank holidays, is to be compensated with leisure time within 12 months.
  • Continued payment of remuneration in case of illness is fixed at a level of 100% of the average monthly basic pay from the first day of sickness.
  • From 1 January 1997, the annual pay bonus (Jahresvergütung) is increased by DEM 600 to DEM 4,887.
  • From 1 January 1998, wages and salaries will rise by 0.5%.

According to Manfred Kopke, the IGBE's chief negotiator, the trade unions attained the main bargaining goal of avoiding redundancies until 2000. The UVR regards the agreement as adequate, considering the difficult state of the German hard-coal mining industry.

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