As the federal minimum wage has become a big topic of debate -- with President Obama calling to raise it to $9.00 an hour -- German politicians are in their own heated dispute over whether to have a minimum wage at all.
Germany doesn’t have a national minimum wage. In fact, it’s one of the few countries in Europe that doesn’t. Instead, German trade unions have always negotiated their own basic pay, industry by industry. But many Germans are questioning the effectiveness of this old way of doing things.
Damian Grimshaw, an expert on minimum wages at Manchester Business School, says Germany might be the economic engine of Europe, but German wages have stagnated over the past decade. Some are paid as low as $3 to $4 an hour.
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