“OGBL does not put its signature on a social dismantling”

The union explained on Thursday why it frustrated the agreement with the government and employers to support companies and households.


The union explained on Thursday why it frustrated the agreement with the government and employers to support companies and households.

(mm with Michèle GANTENBEIN) – OGBL has caused the failure in the negotiations with the government, the employers and the three unions, which had to agree on a help package for companies and households. The talks ended shortly before midnight, without leading to an agreement between the three camps.

Discussions were long this Wednesday evening between the government and the social partners. But they did not lead to any deal, despite a plan of 830 million euros on the table.

On Thursday morning, the chairman of OGBL, Nora Back, explained at the union’s headquarters in Esch / Alzette why the trade union organization could not support the action package. “OGBL is not putting its signature on a social dismantling,” Back said. OGBL initiated negotiations to strengthen the purchasing power of the active population. But the package of measures now on the table, according to the union, is not an improvement, but a deterioration.

“Targeted help”

She criticized the government for bowing to employers and turning the trio into a simple discussion of the index. The deal was made solely for business. “We were ready to support aid to companies, but we are opposed to a tripartite agreement where only one party wins,” said Nora Back.

“We also did not agree to support all companies according to the watering can principle. On the contrary, it is necessary to provide targeted assistance to those companies that really need help. ”

“We were ready to compromise, but with the adjustments to the indexing mechanism, OGBL’s red line was crossed,” continues Nora Back. “We were ready to make concessions on the index issue and postpone the indexed tranche with maturity in August to April 2023. But only if there were countermeasures. These were not guaranteed, however. The size of the compensation offered by the government is not close enough to offset the index loss, Nora Back said.


Moreover, OGBL would not be ready to make concessions on possible future index tranches “in a situation where we do not know what tomorrow brings”.

Independent of the index, OGBL would have made proposals to strengthen purchasing power, including adjusting the tax scale to inflation, a long-term demand. But the latter would have been rejected by the government as being “too expensive”. “If it’s too expensive to adjust the tax plan to inflation, it’s because households have been paying these taxes all these years,” Back said.

The adjustment of housing benefit criticized

Other proposals were allegedly also rejected. OGBL had first proposed to compensate annual income (per employee) up to 160,000 euros (instead of 100,000 euros proposed by the government, note), the compensation was to be zero euros from 160,000 euros annual salary. In its latest claim, OGBL asked for compensation of up to 135,000 euros in annual salary.

OGBL also criticized other measures in the package, such as the adjustment of housing support or the increase in public support for energy renovations. These measures are just a drop in the ocean and had already been decided before. Subsidization of petrol and fuel oil at 7.5 cents per. liters is “a minimal solution without deep impact”.

OGBL is now quite isolated as the other two unions LCGB and CGFP support the package of measures.

Support of up to 830 million euros

The state civil servants’ association CGFP said in a press release on Thursday that it had only accepted a postponement of the index tranche on the strict condition that low and medium-sized wages be compensated in a proportionate manner. This overcompensation takes the form of a tax deduction.

Ernste Mienen, Ernste Lage: Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (DP) and Seine Minister François Bausch, Claude Turmes (both Déi Gréng), Lex Delles (DP, vrnl).

The unions reject the proposals made last week. The negotiations promise to be difficult.

After tough negotiations on Wednesday, the government would have agreed that the overcompensation to which a minimum wage worker is entitled is much greater than the payment of an index tranche.

The package of measures provides support of up to 830 million euros, including 600 million euros for households. Also for LCGB, the planned measures are adapted to the current crisis situation and the unpredictability of economic development.

The LCGB and the CGFP agree with the Luxembourg social model, the social dialogue and the Tripartite as an instrument of crisis. Since the steel crisis in the 1970s, the social partners have always managed to find compromises in the interests of employees and companies, LCGB explains in a press release.

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