BERLIN, Dec 29 (Reuters): Germany's President Horst Koehler has urged companies to give workers a fair share of profits, joining a debate on pay in Europe's biggest economy ahead of wage negotiations due to start early in 2006.
"The time has come to discuss giving workers a share of profits or of productive assets," said Koehler in an interview in weekly magazine Stern released yesterday.
"With globalisation, such an involvement can help to bridge a widening gap between rich and poor."
He added that it was also the government's role to look after some three million unqualified people among the country's unemployed, suggesting a combined wage model where part of the pay comes from firms, the other from the state.
"They still need work. They could not live off low, market-defined wages, which means they need a top up on their salary," he said. "This will be a government task."