“If workers have less to spend business suffers too. It’s time for a real recovery. Workers across Europe need a pay rise.” said ETUC Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch.

In the 7 years 2009-2016 real wages (adjusted for inflation) have fallen every year by an average of 3.1 % in Greece; 1 % in Croatia; 0.9 % in Hungary; 0.7 % in Portugal; 0.6 % in Cyprus; 0.4% in UK, and 0.3 % in Italy. 

Real wage growth has been lower in the period 2009-2016 than in the years 2001-2008 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Average annual real wage growth has plummeted in Romania from 11.2% 2001-2008 to 0.1% 2009-2016, in Lithuania from 8.8 to 1%, and in Latvia from 10.6 to 1.2%.

Only in 3 countries – Germany, Poland and Bulgaria- have real wage increases over 2009-16 outstripped increases in 2001-08.

Even in 2016, when real wages were beginning to increase, they actually decreased in Belgium and are almost stagnant in Italy, France and Greece.

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IndustriAll European Trade Union represents the voice of 7 million working men and women across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors across Europe. We aim to protect and advance the rights of the workers. Our federation has 177 trade union affiliates in 38 European countries. Our objective is to be a powerful player in the European political arena vis-à-vis European companies, European industries, employers’ associations and European institutions.