photo: Bouillon (on the left), Menke (on the right)
Dr. Johan-Michel Menke and Timo Trefzger from Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s Hamburg office represent Bundesverband mittelständischer Sicherheitsunternehmen e.V. (BVMS) [Association of Medium-Sized Security Companies] based in Frankfurt am Main in a collective bargaining dispute.
The Federal Association of the Security Industry (BDSW), state group North Rhine-Westphalia and services trade union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft ver.di (North Rhine-Westphalia region) had jointly requested that the collective wage agreement for security services in North Rhine-Westphalia that was concluded between them on October 24, 2018 – and which entered into effect on January 1, 2019 – be declared generally binding. This application was published in the Federal Gazette on March 8, 2019.
BVMS objected to this application for declaration of general applicability at a hearing on April 3, 2019 before the Collective Bargaining Committee of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia. BVMS President Klaus Bouillon: “This is a collective agreement that is directed against small and medium-sized businesses. For the companies that we represent, more than 25 wage groups are impracticable. This will not allow fair competition.”
Menke, who represented the Association before the Committee at the April 3, 2019 hearing, agreed with Bouillon: "We cannot see any particular interest in general applicability, which is intended to protect employees without collective bargaining agreements from considerable disadvantages. On the contrary, the given wage ranges are in part vague and contradictory, and numerous groups are excluded, such as trainees. We don’t expect the ministry to even expand this jungle of wages.”
According to yesterday’s recommendation of the Bargaining Committee, the application should not apply retroactively as originally intended by BDSW. It now remains to be seen how the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia will decide. Trefzger: “If the ministry declares this to be generally binding, we will examine all legal remedies and, if necessary, take legal action.”
More information can be found in the video © 2019 BVMS, Nils Heimann