Our modern life and economy requires flexible solutions and legal framework conditions that enable even export-oriented industries to remain competitive. Reducing bureaucracy and lowering the above-average ancillary wage costs are long overdue. The shortage of skilled workers requires a reform of education at all levels of training.
The 24 mills of the paper industry employ 7,900 people.
The paper industry is part of the wood value chain, which employs 290,000 people in Austria alone.
359 apprentices are currently being trained in the companies.
The industry pays around 480 million euros in wages and salaries annually (2020).
The employees in the paper industry are highly qualified. Wages and salaries are among the highest in the industry.
In Austria, EU directives as well as other regulations in labour and social law have often been implemented more strictly than required by EU regulations, quite the opposite of other countries such as Germany. This has worsened our international competitiveness. The Wage and Social Dumping Act, for example, is particularly detrimental to companies. In order to avoid this so-called "gold plating" as far as possible in the future, EU directives in the field of labour and social law should be implemented with the involvement of the social partners. In the legal harmonisation of workers/employees there is still a separation at the level of trade unions, works councils and collective agreements. This distinction is no longer appropriate, particularly in collective labour law.
reduce non-wage labour costs
Austria continues to occupy a top position in terms of the tax and contribution burden. According to the OECD, the average single earner will have a tax and contribution ratio of 42.2 % in 2018. This puts Austria in 7th place out of 33 countries. Germany is five places behind Austria with a significantly lower 38.2 %. This means that our Austrian locations have also lost competitiveness compared to Germany in terms of labour costs. We are therefore calling for a radical reduction in non-wage labour costs. There is potential in accident insurance, the insolvency compensation fund and the law on night work. In this way we can increase our competitiveness and innovative strength.
Educational reform to combat shortage of skilled workers
In order to continue to meet the demand for highly qualified specialists in the paper industry in the future, reforms in the education system are urgently needed. Measures here would be a performance orientation in the education system, for example through the achievement of externally reviewed educational goals at the end of the 8th grade, results-oriented school financing at all upper school types according to the number of pupils who complete this type of school positively, an expansion of school autonomy, a modernisation of teaching content and methods, and minimum standards in basic subjects (reading, arithmetic, etc.). A special focus must be placed - from an early age - on promoting interest in technology and the natural sciences. In addition, future demand for skilled labour should also be ensured by promoting dual vocational training and ensuring the attractiveness of technical/scientific training programmes. This is the only way we can ensure that our need for skilled labour will continue to be met in the future.
PAPER GOES DIGITAL AT MONDI
In addition to their technical training and modules such as sports and health, apprentice etiquette and apprenticeship with Matura starting in autumn 2019, Mondi apprentices also have a one-day training course from the DaVinciLab in their first year of apprenticeship to increase their digital know-how. In the form of a youth hackathon, young people get to know state-of-the-art technologies and deal with digital skills such as coding and robotics in a one-day project. At the end, finished projects are created and submitted to an Austria-wide competition, which is implemented in cooperation with Fit4Internet.
The paper industry is producing less in the crisis year 2020 and has to accept a significant drop in sales. Nevertheless, it is focusing on the climate targets.