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Germany Hit By "Mega Strike" As Public Transport Workers Demand Pay Rise

On Monday, Germany hit by "mega strike" as public transport workers went on strike in the country's largest cities. The strike came after a long-standing dispute over pay between the workers and their employers.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
Mar 28, 2023104 Shares34651 Views
On Monday, Germany hit by "mega strike"as public transport workers went on strike in the country's largest cities. The strike came after a long-standing dispute over pay between the workers and their employers.
Airport, port, train, bus, and subway workers walked out just after midnight for a 24-hour strike. Two of Germany's major unions are requesting increased pay to deal with growing living costs.

Germany braces for 'mega-strike' targeting rail and air travel | DW News

The Strike's Impact

Several public employees have recently staged minor walkouts. The strike, which began at 3 a.m., brought the public transportation network to a halt in many major cities, causing chaos for commuters who were unable to get to work or school.
Over 5,000 workers took part in the strike, which affected 13 German states and lasted for more than 24 hours.
The commuter and regional trains run by Deutsche Bahn, Germany's primary rail operator, were disrupted by Monday's "mega strike," as it was nicknamed in local media.
Local transportation services, such as trams and buses, are also unavailable in seven states. Hundreds of flights have been canceled, including at Germany's two busiest airports, Munich and Frankfurt.
Strike action also affected several flights from Munich Airport on Sunday.
The walkout would affect around 380,000 flight passengers, according to Germany's airport association, but it was "beyond any reasonable and justifiable measure."

The Employer's Response

The employers have offered a pay rise of 2%, which the unions have rejected as inadequate. The dispute has led to several rounds of negotiations, with the most recent one ending in a stalemate.
The employers have accused the unions of being unreasonable in their demands, and have urged them to come back to the negotiating table.
Several company representatives have also cautioned the unions that their demands are unrealistic and risk alienating the people.
Nevertheless, successful wage increases have been negotiated recently. Postal workers received an 11.5% salary increase in early March.

The Political Response

The strike has also drawn the attention of the German government, with the labor minister calling for both sides to resume negotiations.
The minister has warned that the strike will have a negative impact on the economy and has called on both sides to find a solution to the dispute.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser expressed optimism that an agreement will be reached this week.
Many public service workers are suffering the high energy prices and high inflation. That's why it's our job to find a good agreement.- Nancy Faeser, Interior Minister

The Future Of The Strike

As negotiations continue, it remains unclear how long the strike will last. The unions have warned that if their demands are not met, they will consider further strikes.
The employers, on the other hand, have stated that they are willing to negotiate, but have called for an end to the strike.
The workers are demanding a pay increase of 4.8%, with a minimum increase of €150 per month. The unions and the employers have been in negotiations for months, but have been unable to reach an agreement.
The workers argue that they deserve a pay rise as they have been working under difficult conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Jenny Hill, the BBC's Berlin reporter, it is unusual for a wage dispute to erupt so rapidly in Germany, but this time two of the country's strongest unions have joined forces.
Verdi represents around 2.5 million employees in the public sector, including public transportation and airports. It wishes to achieve a 10.5% wage increase for its employees.
EVG represents around 230,000 employees at DB and other bus operators. It seeks a 12% boost in compensation.
Both unions are hoping that the walkout will put further pressure on employers ahead of another round of compensation talks this week.
Frank Werneke, the CEO of Verdi, described the pay increase as "a matter of survival for many thousands" in an interview with the German newspaper Bild.

Final Words

The "mega strike" in Germany has caused major disruptions to the country's public transportation network, and has highlighted the ongoing dispute between the workers and their employers over pay.
As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen whether the two sides will be able to find a resolution to the dispute and bring an end to the strike.
Monday's strike follows a similar walkout in February. More than 2,300 flights were canceled, and small and medium-sized business representatives accused the unions of holding the entire country hostage for their own gain.
There have also been several walkouts by other public service sectors in recent weeks, including childcare and education.
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