Pressure on minimum wages arising from government austerity measures has been highlighted by a European trade union think tank.
The briefing paper examines recent trends in minimum wages across Europe in the light of the economic crisis.
In most European countries, workers earning the minimum wage have suffered losses – in some cases quite considerable ones – in real pay.
The ‘Troika’ (the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank) has made a ‘more or less direct attempt’ to force cuts in minimum wages in big-deficit countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
This has made the demand-depressing effects of austerity policies worse and is one factor behind economic stagnation in Europe.
Source: Thorsten Schulten, Minimum Wages in Europe under Austerity, European Trade Union Institute