Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Germany to consider minimum wage

Source: Associated Press--" Germany debates a minimum wage"

The German legislature is considering establishing a minimum wage floor for all workers. While most German laborers are represented by unions that negotiate worker pay at a level higher than “minimum,” the law would standard would include non-union workers such as hair dressers and dog walkers who are reputed to often work for “starvation wages.” Additionally, concern over the possibility of a wage race to the bottom resulting from cheap labor from newer European Union members has prompted the call for a standard.

The move is supported by Germany’s Social Democrats, while the Christian Democrats fear that setting such a standard would hurt the recovery of the European Union’s largest economy. However, supporters note that large corporations are unlikely to be affected because of the union presence and will most likely already be making more than whatever standard the government sets.

For discussion:

Are minimum wage standards necessary?

Are the jobs performed by low-wage earners valuable enough to society that there should be minimum compensation standards set?

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