Labor union FNV will keep pushing for higher wages if inflation doesn’t slow
Labor union FNV will make even higher wage demands at companies if they do not lower their prices quickly, FNV chairman Tuur Elzinga told De Telegraaf on Saturday.
"We are heading for a major disaster. It is really important that we try to prevent those large price increases in the shops. That is why I urgently appeal to companies to raise wages and lower prices," said the union chairman.
The FNV is already pushing to compensate for high inflation in collective bargaining with companies. That also means wage demands will increase if prices continue to rise, an FNV spokesperson said and confirmed Elzinga's statements in the newspaper.
Elzinga also speaks of "a bunch of pocket fillers". By this, he refers to companies that took advantage of the high inflation to raise their prices more than necessary and thus see their profits increase. This phenomenon is also known as greed inflation.
Furthermore, Martin Visser, financial journalist at De Telegraaf explained on the tv program Op1 that "Life is expensive and that is partly due to grab inflation, research shows. “It appears, quite convincingly, that companies pass on the extra costs to us with an extra perk."
Het leven is duur en dat komt onder meer door graaiflatie, zo laat onderzoek zien. “Het blijkt, vrij overtuigend, dat bedrijven de extra kosten aan ons doorberekenen met nog een extraatje”, vertelt @martinvisser. #Op1 #BNNVARA pic.twitter.com/1Vi5doeQo8— Op1 (@op1npo) May 5, 2023
Rabobank economists calculated this week that price increases in the Netherlands could have been more than 2 percentage points lower last year if companies had limited the increase in their selling prices to what was minimally necessary to maintain their profit margin. But the experts were afraid to say whether this was really a matter of conscious greed inflation.
"The fact that companies have increased their margins in times of high inflation may indicate a lack of competition and the exploitation of market power, but other motives may also play a role in the relatively strong price increases," the Rabo economists wrote. "It takes some time before price increases are calculated throughout the entire production chain. In addition, it is possible that entrepreneurs can already prepare for agreed - or anticipated - wage cost increases by strengthening their profits."
Reporting by ANP and NL Times