A massive transport strike is expected on Monday
On Thursday, German unions called for a strike on Monday. The social climate in the country is on the rise as inflation hit 8.7% in February.
Traffic will be blocked in Germany on Monday.
Workers across Germany’s transport sector have called a strike on Monday to weigh on ongoing wage negotiations against a backdrop of high inflation, unions announced on Thursday. Employees of airports, rail, maritime transport, motorway companies and local transport are being called for a “full day off”, the Ver.di and EVG unions said at a press conference in Berlin.
This solidarity movement between the two unions is rare in the euro zone’s first economy, where pay negotiations are conducted branch by branch. EVG represents 230,000 employees of railway companies, while Ver.di protects employees of public services. “We expect large participation in the strikes,” Ver.di president Frank Wernek said.
A tense social environment
The call illustrates the increasingly tense social climate in the country, which has been hit by inflation that hit 8.7% in February. Several walkouts have taken place over the months, affecting various professional sectors in the public, from schools to hospitals.
Both unions are demanding higher wage increases of 10.5% for Ver.di and 12% for EVG, respectively, to compensate for inflation. Claims rejected during negotiating sessions in recent weeks by employer representatives, which mainly include state and municipal governments. The latter provides a 5% increase with two single payments of 1000 and 1500 euros in May 2023 and January 2024 respectively.
“We work on the wire”
Unions complain of poor working conditions amid labor shortages in the country. “We’re working on the wire and we don’t have enough staff,” Frank Wernake said. Pay negotiations will resume next week for the entire service branch.
Bremen, Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover airports already had to cancel 351 flights on March 11, due to a 24-hour strike by staff responsible for security checks. The strike has affected the port of Hamburg since Wednesday, the first port in Germany to ban access for ships over 90 meters.
“Avid gamer. Social media geek. Proud troublemaker. Thinker. Travel fan. Problem solver.”