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Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the May issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter:

1. Germany – In two large sectors collective agreements were concluded. Trade union IG Metall reached an agreement with a 4.8 percent pay rise in two steps that could pave the way for a further boost to real incomes. IG Bau agreed on a pay increase of 4.6 percent for workers in the west of the country. Workers in the east of the country receive an increase of 5.3 percent.

2. Hungary – Taxi drivers have been protesting to have the government restrict access to the ride-sharing program UBER. As a result, the government plans to draft a new law that bans the application of the program.

3. The Netherlands – Representatives of the farming unions, livestock farmers’ associations and environmental groups have signed a joint declaration against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Part of the argument is that working conditions and workers’ wages in the entire agricultural sector will come under pressure.

4. Romania – After long talks with the social partners the government has drafted a law on salaries in the public sector, which focuses on correcting the inequalities in the local healthcare system and introduces performance bonuses for the healthcare and education personnel.

5. Sweden – Construction trade union Byggnads concluded a nation-wide agreement that gives an extra pay rise for low paid workers within the sector, such as cleaners at construction sites. The union also pushed the employers to commit to promote gender equality and diversity by investing in apprenticeships for women and workers with a migrant background.

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