In view of a thick order backlog, the industrial union for construction, agriculture and the environment (IG BAU) does not see construction companies at risk in the Corona crisis. “Hardly any other industry has come through the pandemic as well as the construction industry,” union leader Robert Feiger told AFP on Friday. However, the industry is finding it increasingly difficult to find enough specialists for the construction sites. “Construction employers should therefore make the industry more attractive to employees,” said Feiger.
In spite of the pandemic, the building authorities approved almost 91,000 new apartments from March to May this year, according to IG Bau, citing a response from the German government to the Greens’ request. “The construction boom continues,” said Feiger.
The so-called construction overhang – the number of approved but not yet completed apartments – according to the figures, rose by around 43,000 apartments last year. With a total of 740,400 apartments, the overhang reached the highest level since 1998 according to the Federal Statistical Office. “It is high time that the construction companies are now realizing the approved projects”, demanded Feiger. In this way, they could continue to “go through the corona crisis economically safe”.
The union sees the opportunity to make the industry more attractive for young people in the current collective bargaining. IG Bau demands 6.8 percent more wages for around 850,000 construction workers, but at least an additional 230 euros a month. In addition, the long drive to the construction site should be compensated, the union demands.
Feiger criticized that the employers still had not submitted an offer after three rounds of negotiations. “Even though business is going well even in the pandemic,” he told AFP.