"The legislature could, for example, make it easier to declare collective agreements generally binding," said DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann of the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". He could also stipulate that only those companies that also pay collectively agreed wages are awarded public contracts.
"This is already the case in many federal states, but unfortunately not yet in all of them." On Wednesday, the federal government reported on 30 years of German unity. This is basically a success story, but one with a downside, said Hoffmann. He complained that "people in the new federal states have significantly longer working hours and significantly lower wages". That is not compatible with the aspired equivalence of living conditions in Germany. According to Hoffmann, the problem is, among other things, that collective bargaining coverage in the east is even lower than in the west. He complained that many employers refused to join an employers' association. Many also made use of so-called OT memberships, i.e. memberships without a collective bargaining agreement. "If the employers don't stop that of their own accord, then we need legal flank protection," demanded Hoffmann. Figures from the Ministry of Labor had previously shown how great the differences still are on the German labor market. The average income of employees subject to social insurance contributions in the west was € 2019 in 3.526. In the east it was 2.827 euros and thus 699 euros or 19,8 percent less every month. This emerges from the response from the Federal Ministry of Labor to an AfD request that the NOZ reported on. Accordingly, the differences between 2018 and 2019 have become somewhat smaller because wages and salaries in the east rose slightly more at 120 euros per month than in the west at 92 euros.