During the last 16 years (2000-2016), wage increases ought to have been twice as high in Belgium compared to real wage rises, had they been in line with productivity. The finding stems from figures produced by the European Trade Union Institute (“ETUI”) and the European Trade Union Confederation (“ETUC”).
For the countries within the EU, the report finds that had wage increases kept pace with the rise in productivity output, they would have been four times higher than real wage rises by now.
The ETUC says, “Standard economic theory assumes that salary increases should be in line with productivity.” The organisation believes, “However, across the EU, productivity has actually risen far more than wages.”
Esther Lynch, the Confederal Secretary of the ETUC notes, “For several years, wages have lagged behind productivity.” She goes on, “Workers are not receiving a fair share of the value which they are producing. The significant gap between productivity gains and the development of wages clearly illustrates the need for wage increases for workers across the entire EU.”