Bonn/Berlin Tuesday could be stressful for commuters who use public transport: The trade union Verdi has called for nationwide warning strikes. Buses and trains will not be running in Bonn. RSVG lines are not affected, however.
Commuters will have to be prepared for warning strikes on local public transport (ÖPNV) across the country on Tuesday. The trade union Verdi has called for walkouts in support of a nationwide collective agreement for some 87,000 public transport workers.
The strikes will also affect local transport in Bonn. According to Verdi, the bus and train services of the Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) will also be completely paralysed on Tuesday. The Stadtwerke assumes that bus and train drivers will be on strike all day from three o'clock in the morning. All SWB buses and trains will therefore remain in their depots.
According to Verdi, the local transport services of the Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB) are also affected, which would include tram lines 16 and 18 in Bonn. According to Verdi, there will be no strikes on the bus and train lines of the Rhein-Sieg-Verkehrsgesellschaft (RSVG). Regionalverkehr Köln (RVK) is also not affected.
Negotiations on collective agreements in the public transport sector are currently underway in all 16 Federal states. Although the public transport sector is part of the public service, the union's demands have nothing to do with the collective bargaining that is also currently taking place there. The public transport sector has its own collective agreements. Since the union believes that these have developed differently in the individual German states over the years, Verdi now wants to supplement them with a nationwide regulation.
At their last meeting, the general assembly of the Association of Municipal Employers' Organisations (Vereinigung der kommunalen Arbeitgeberverbände, VKA) reportedly refused to enter into nationwide negotiations with simultaneous bargaining rounds at state level.
"With our demands, we have provided suggestions on how to solve the pressing issues of easing the burden on staff and encouraging younger talent," said the deputy Verdi federal chairwoman, Christine Behle, on Friday. "The fact that the employers are not even prepared to negotiate makes a mockery of the employees and torpedoes any efforts to achieve a change in transport policies.”
The announcement has been strongly condemned on the side of the employers. The Chief Executive of the VKA, Niklas Benrath, described the warning strike as an "attack on the general public". He said it is "irresponsible, especially in these times of crisis, to cover the whole country in a wave of strikes - just think of the collapse in passenger numbers and local transport revenues.”
The Association of Towns and Municipalities (Städte- und Gemeindebund) takes a similar position, criticising the actions as a "devastating signal". "Warning strikes will result in only a few buses and trains running, which will then be very crowded and thus further increase users’ fears ", said CEO Gerd Landsberg of the Funke media group.
(Original text: dpa/ga, Translation: Caroline Kusch)