Strikes have been announced this week in several German states. Local transport is particularly badly affected. An overview.
Buses and trams are likely to stand still in many cities in Germany on Tuesday. The service union Gave has in the tariff conflict of local public transport nationwide warning strikes for September 29th announced. With this, the union wants to force the local employers to negotiate a Germany-wide framework collective agreement. “After 20 years of austerity on the back of the employees, the limits of resilience have been reached,” said Verdi Vice-President Christine Behle.
In addition to local public transport, daycare centers, hospitals and municipal cleaning services are also affected in some federal states this week. An overview of the strikes in the individual federal states:
Warning strikes in local transport:
- Baden-Württemberg: Strikes are going on all day in seven municipal transport companies in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Konstanz, Esslingen and Heilbronn as well as in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen
- Bayern: Strikes are expected in eleven Bavarian cities on Tuesday – including in Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Würzburg and Regensburg. Buses, trams and subways are affected.
- Berlin and Brandenburg: In both countries, numerous buses, trams and the Berlin subway will remain in the depots on Tuesday. At the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the strike lasts from the start of operations until 12 noon, and longer in Brandenburg. There are no buses or trains running all day in the big cities and most regions, as a spokesman for the Verdi union announced. The S-Bahn and regional trains are not affected. The S-Bahn wants to increase its train offer, but does not have very large reserves. In addition to the usual 3,000 journeys, 40 are added because amplifier trains remain in use for longer on the S1. Reserve trains are to be used on other routes at short notice.
- Bremen: The depots of Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) in Neustadt, Sebaldsbrück, Neue Vahr and Blumenthal will be on strike on Tuesday from 3 a.m.
- Hamburg: On Tuesday, all four subway lines will probably not run from the start of operations until 12 noon. “There are also likely to be considerable restrictions in bus operations in Hamburg and the surrounding area – especially in the districts of Pinneberg, Segeberg, Stormarn and the Duchy of Lauenburg”, it was called by Hamburger Hochbahn AG. Customers should therefore avoid unnecessary journeys and switch to other means of transport. Regional and S-Bahn trains are not affected.
- Hessen: For Hesse, Verdi announced strikes in public transport in the cities of Kassel, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. In Kassel buses and trams are affected, in Wiesbaden buses and in Frankfurt trams and subways.
- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: On Tuesday, all local traffic should be affected – with the exception of the Schweriner and Anklamer Verkehrsgesellschaft.
- Lower Saxony: According to the union, around 6,000 employees have been asked to stop work. Buses and trains in Hanover, Bremen, Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, Göttingen, Goslar and Osnabrück are likely to be affected by this on Tuesday.
- North Rhine-Westphalia: Working people and schoolchildren can expect significant problems on the way to work and class on Tuesday. The local trains of Deutsche Bahn and the other railway companies are not affected by the strike. The Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB) announced that as of Tuesday, 3 a.m., there will be no trams and only bus trips carried out by subcontractors will be possible. Operations should start again on Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. The Dortmund transport company said that the strike would “completely shut down” local transport in the city. In Bochum, too, local transport is to be completely canceled, and there will be no trips by external companies, the transport company Bogestra said.
- Rhineland-Palatinate: In Mainz, Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens and Trier, buses and trams are said to be on strike from 3 a.m. until the end of the shift.
- Saarland: No work stoppages are planned here so far.
- Saxony: Here the strike begins on Tuesday with the start of operations. Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Zwickau and Plauen are affected.
- Saxony-Anhalt: Here too, verdi is on strike – in Magdeburg, Halle, Dessau and the Burgenland district.
- Schleswig-Holstein: According to the Verdi union, the municipal bus routes in Kiel, Flensburg and Lübeck will be on strike on Tuesday from 3.30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Thuringia: Disabilities are also expected in Thuringia on Tuesday. According to the Verdi union, employees of the Erfurter Verkehrs AG, the Jenaer Nahverkehr GmbH and the Geraer Verkehrs- und Betriebsgesellschaft are to stop working. Warning strikes are scheduled to begin there with the start of the morning shift.
Warning strikes in daycare centers:
- Baden-Württemberg: On Monday, around 2,000 employees of the youth welfare office and the youth house society from daycare centers, school childcare, social services and youth houses went on strike in Stuttgart.
- Bayern: There are to be strikes in the daycare centers on Tuesday. Only emergency operation is maintained. Daycare centers in Munich were already closed on Monday.
- Berlin and Brandenburg: No strikes are planned in the daycare centers.
- Bremen: On Friday there will be a strike in the daycare area, the Bremen workshop, the Bremen job center and the university.
- Hamburg: On Monday morning at 6 a.m., all-day warning strikes began in the daycare centers. Among other things, 20 of the 189 Elbkinder daycare centers were closed at the start of the week, as a spokeswoman said. In addition, almost 8,000 of around 23,000 children were in the carrier’s emergency care on Monday. Almost 1900 of the almost 5600 educational Elbkinder employees had stopped working as part of the warning strike.
- Hessen: The effects of the warning strikes in the public service can be felt on Tuesday in Hessen, especially in Frankfurt. There, the employees of the city administration are called to a warning strike. Among other things, municipal day-care centers, public order offices, health authorities, job centers and green spaces are affected.
- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: So far nothing is known.
- Lower Saxony: According to a Verdi spokesman, no daycare centers are to be called on strike in Lower Saxony. This is a reaction to the long tense childcare situation for many parents during the corona pandemic.
- North Rhine-Westphalia: In NRW there had already been strikes in daycare centers last week.
- Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland: Nothing is planned so far.
- Saxony: Daycare centers are to be striked in Dresden on Wednesday.
- Saxony-Anhalt: It is still unclear if and when the strike will take place.
- Schleswig-Holstein: There was a strike here last week.
- Thuringia: Strikes in daycare centers are not planned for the time being.
Warning strikes at city cleaning:
- Berlin and Brandenburg: At the Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) around 1000 employees have been on a warning strike since 5 a.m. on Monday. The streets were not cleaned and the public trash bins were not emptied. The garbage disposal is not affected and works normally, said a spokesman.
- Bremen: On Thursday, cleaning workers in daycare centers and schools and city cleaning are called to walk out.
This is what the unions demand:
The unions are demanding 4.8 percent more wages. The employees are to be guaranteed at least 150 euros more per month. They demand a term of twelve months, the municipal employers want a longer term. In addition, an alignment of working hours in East and West Germany is required. The federal government and municipalities had not submitted an offer at the second round of negotiations at the weekend in Potsdam.
Verdi and the official association dbb, which is negotiating with Verdi, were outraged. The government and municipalities negotiate directly for 2.3 million employees. According to the unions, the result should be transferred to the more than 200,000 civil servants.
These are the possible scenarios:
The third round of negotiations is scheduled for October 22nd and 23rd, and it will probably last a day or two longer. Either both sides then agree on a conclusion, or an arbitration is initiated. It is less likely that the negotiations will be declared a failure and that the unions will call regular strikes.
These are the reactions:
The majority of German citizens can understand the concerns of the trade unions. That comes from a Forsa survey published on Tuesday morning on behalf of RTL and ntv. Accordingly, 63 percent of those surveyed said that they understand the warning strikes. Almost a third showed no understanding.
When it comes to the question of whether the wage claim is appropriate with a plus of 4.8 percent, opinions differ. Almost every second thinks this demand is appropriate according to the survey, but especially the self-employed (57 percent) and supporters of the Union (50 percent) and FDP (49 percent) consider it too high. 78 percent of those surveyed agreed to the demand for higher wages for nurses in the public service.
Of the German Association of Cities Appeals to the unions not to increase the burdens of the citizens from Corona with warning strikes. “We need a fair solution to the collective bargaining conflict in the public service at the negotiating table,” said City Council President Burkhard Jung to our editorial team. Above all, strikes in daycare centers would burden parents and children again after the lockdown. “Warning strikes during the corona pandemic seem to have fallen out of time.”
The cities are aware of their responsibility towards their employees. “They ensure that many services continue to run despite Corona,” said Jung. For that they deserved recognition. At the same time, Jung referred to the immense financial losses suffered by the municipalities due to the consequences of the pandemic. According to Jung, the employers wanted to submit an offer after further discussions at the working level.
In an interview with our editorial team, Verdi boss Frank Werneke had already criticized that the ingratitude was back. “They all applauded at the height of the crisis. But wages are still kept low. It no longer surprises me, but it still disappoints me, ”said Werneke. (jb / dpa / bef / tki)