Germany plans minimum wage for cleaners
23 August 2006
BERLIN – Seeking to cut the number of foreigners flooding into Germany to work as low-cost cleaners, the Berlin government Wednesday approved a minimum wage for all people employed in the sector.
The law – mainly aimed at workers coming from central and eastern Europe – imposes a 7.87 euros (10.09 dollars) per hour wage in western Germany and 6.26 euros per hour in the east.
A total of 850,000 people are employed in Germany's building cleaning sector and there have been repeated complaints that foreign workers sent to Germany are driving down the already low wages paid to cleaners.
“This will ensure a minimum wage for both domestic and foreign employees,” said deputy
government spokesman Thomas Steg.
The law must be approved by both houses of parliament and is not expected to enter into force until 2007.
Similar legislation is already in place for the construction sector and Labour Minister Franz Muentefering has demanded a minimum wage be imposed on all German sectors for foreign workers.