German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is considering a minimum wage system, marking a fundamental change in the industrial policy of the European top economy.
The motion will be submitted for open discussion at a CDU party congress on November 13-15.
"The chancellor sees it (minimum wage) as an issue concerning the dignity of work," Georg Streiter, a spokesman for Merkel, was quoted by local media as saying, hailing it a revolutionary step as it totally broke away from the party's previous stance.
"The question is no longer 'are we going to have a minimum wage,' but how we are going to negotiate its exact level," said Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who is also from the CDU party.
The proposition of a single minimum wage has long been snuffed by the ruling centre-right coalition headed by CDU, saying the move could retard jobs creation and that individual sectors should set salary agreements with their employees bansed on market conditions.
This policy shift is largely considered preemptive by the chancellor's center-right political group to woo the votes from the middle class ahead of the 2013 general election.
The minimum wage motion would have to be determined by a commission using wages for temporary work as a guideline and not imposed by the state, according to the plan.
Labour activists in the CDU welcomed the move.
Germany has minimum hourly rates for some industries but not for the whole economy. The lowest rate is 6.89 euros (9.58 dollars) per hour.