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Across Germany: Verdi calls for nationwide warning strikes in local public transport

Across Germany : Verdi calls for nationwide warning strikes in local public transport

For commuters who use local public transport, Tuesday could be stressful: The trade union Verdi has called for nationwide warning strikes. It is demanding a collective agreement for all employees nationwide.

Commuters will have to prepare themselves for warning strikes in local public transport (ÖPNV) all across Germany this coming Tuesday.

On Friday, the trade union Verdi called for work stoppages this coming Tuesday in order to enforce nationwide collective bargaining for about 87,000 employees in the local public transport sector. According to the union, the employers have so far refused to accept a nationwide collective agreement.

Negotiations are currently underway in all 16 German states on respective tariffs for local public transport workers. Although local public transport is part of the public service sector, the union's demands have nothing to do with the collective bargaining negotiations that are currently underway there. Rather, it’s about the “Spartentarifverträge” (collective agreements which regulate special work and income provisions). Because these have developed differently in the individual states over the years from the union's point of view, Verdi now wants to augment them with a nationwide regulation.

"With our demands we provided suggestions, on how the pressing questions of support and promotion of young talents can be solved", explained the deputy Verdi National Chairwoman, Christine Behle. "The fact that the employers are not even prepared to negotiate is a mockery to the employees and torpedoes any efforts to achieve a Verkehrswende (a shift to sustainable or more environmentally friendly transport).”

As a result, there will be work stoppages nationwide this coming Tuesday. One should expect massive disruptions in traffic all across the country.

While local public transport is struggling separately to reach an agreement, the trade union and employers are currently also negotiating in the public service sector. Verdi is demanding 4.8 percent more money, but at least 150 euros, for the 2.3 million employees covered by collective bargaining agreements at federal and local level across Germany. Last weekend, the second round of negotiations ended without a result. The third round of negotiations is scheduled for October 22 and 23.

(Orig. text: dpa; Translation: ck)