Ingrid and the Minimum Wage Battle in Germany

Ingrid lives in the same town in Germany where she grew up. She loves the area in which she lives. She has trained as a hairdresser and enjoys her job. Her one disappointment is that her salary isn't as much as she had hoped. She finds it hard to pay for all the things she would like. She's not alone.

A salary is money paid for a person's work. A salary is usually used for food, clothing, shelter, and activities or other purchases. Some countries have something called a minimum wage. The United States, for example, has a minimum wage. Basically, that means a person can't be paid any less than that amount of money for an hour's work. In 1938, the United States set this basic amount to protect workers. Over the years, that exact amount of money per hour has changed. Unlike the United States, though, Germany had never established a minimum wage.

Instead, Germany had a different kind of system. Pay was decided on between unions and employers for different kinds of work. Different standards were set for different kinds of jobs. That seemed to work for a long time. That was because of a unique social welfare system that guaranteed people a certain income. Therefore, if a person didn't make that much from a job, the government would make up the difference to make sure the person reached at least a basic income level.

. . . Print Entire Reading Comprehension with Questions