UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Downside of the German Economy - The Rise of the 'Mini Jobs'

UNISON activists representing members in the cleaning, catering and low wage sector will be well aware of the new employment patterns of workers with multi jobs and more than one employer. Current austerity strategists have been raising the example of the German economy to contrast its relative ability to survive compared with other advanced economies, including the UK. But in Germany – where there is no minimum wage at all, rising job insecurity and even the Social Democrats have been supporting massive cuts in welfare – the so called German success is being paid for by the low paid:

Mini jobs – those jobs that are part time, low paid, deregulated, often agency led – are on the increase over unionised, permanent jobs covered by pay bargaining. Despite the perception we may have of German trade union strength, their national density is around 37% (higher than the UK at 24%) and declining. They too are having to learn the need for ‘regrowth’ in an economy where employers have the upper hand.