First Posted: 9/18/2013
(AP) Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has signed off on a minimum wage deal for stonemasons at its last meeting before Sunday's election underlining its rejection of a single national standard.
Challenger Peer Steinbrueck advocates a mandatory national minimum wage of 8.50 euros ($11.35) per hour. Germany is unusual among Western countries in lacking one.
However, Merkel's center-right coalition prefers to allow employers and employees decide minimum pay on a sector-by-sector, region-by-region basis.
The government endorses those deals; Wednesday's decision brings the total to seven in four years. The deal for stonemasons foresees minimum pay of at least 10.13 euros.
Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen told ZDF television it's "absolutely wrong" for politicians to set minimum wages. She said "the experts, unions and employers, should do it."Associated Press