- - Sunday, September 11, 2011

GERMANY

Minister expects nation to mandate minimum wage

BERLIN — German Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that the introduction of an across-the-board minimum wage was only a matter of time in Europe’s top economy, in an interview to be published Monday.

“I am convinced that we, in the short or the long run, will have a minimum wage in all sectors,” she told news weekly Der Spiegel.


She said the minimum wage, which would mark a fundamental change in German industrial policy, would have to be based on an agreement between employers and employees and not imposed by the state.

“We must not allow the amount of a general minimum wage to become a political football,” she said.

Ms. von der Leyen seized on an initiative launched by the CDA employees’ wing of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The CDA plans at a party congress in November to present the proposal for a legal minimum wage, which Der Spiegel said was also gaining support in the Free Democratic Party, the junior partner in Ms. Merkel’s center-right coalition.

However the employers’ wing of the CDU dismissed the initiative as a job-killer.

“There will be no across-the-board legal minimum wage under this coalition,” a deputy leader of the party, Michael Fuchs, told Der Spiegel.

CALIFORNIA

Shuttered subsidiary charged in Oracle theft

SAN FRANCISCO — A week after a big win against Oracle, German software maker SAP AG is dealt a new blow in a theft case involving a now-defunct subsidiary.

The Justice Department has criminally charged subsidiary, TomorrowNow, with 12 counts related to the theft of software and documents from Oracle Corp. websites in a four-year-old case.

The theft, which SAP has acknowledged, led to a $1.3 billion jury verdict against SAP last year. Last week, a federal judge threw out the award, calling it “grossly excessive.” Unless Oracle accepts a lower, $272 million award, a new trial will be ordered.

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