Agreement on the changeover to the euro in metalworking

In June 1998, the bargaining parties in the German metalworking industry signed a new agreement which determines a procedure for the changeover from the Deutschmark to the euro within collective agreements.

On 30 June 1998, the metalworkers' union, IG Metall, and the Gesamtmetall metalworking employers' association concluded a collective agreement "on the conversion of currency-related provisions in collective agreements in the framework of the currency changeover from the DEM to to the euro" (Tarifvertrag über die Umstellung währungsrelevanter Tarifvertragsbestimmungen im Rahmen des Währungsübergangs von DM auf Euro).

The basic aim of this "euro agreement" is to make sure that neither employers nor employees will obtain any advantages or disadvantages because of the changeover from the Deutschmark to the forthcoming single European currency, the euro. Considering the still rather sceptical view of large parts of the German population on the introduction of the euro, both social partners see this agreement as a symbolic expression of their support for EU Economic and Monetary Union.

Under the terms of the agreement, all collective agreements will usually use the DEM for calculations until the final introduction of the euro as the only valid currency from 1 January 2002. After the announcement of the legal exchange rate, all agreements will have to provide additional calculations, using the euro.

Companies which want to calculate wages and salaries using only the euro after 31 December 1998 should conclude a works agreement on the conversion procedure. If the companies fail to reach a works agreement, a regional arbitration panel composed of representatives from the social partners' organisations will take the final decision.

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