Buses, trams and subways operate in Berlin
Major strike in traffic announced for Monday – Bahn wants to completely stop long-distance traffic
Long-distance and regional trains, suburban trains, planes, ships and tunnels – the unions are counting on escalation in a nationwide major strike in traffic on Monday. In Berlin, at least buses, trams and subways should run normally.
- EVG and Verdi are calling for a major strike in traffic on Monday
- Effects in the region cannot yet be fully foreseen
- Long-distance traffic is discontinued, “mostly no train” in regional traffic
- Berlin S-Bahn expects “massive restrictions”
- Tram lines, subways and buses in Berlin run as usual
- also affects airports, shipping and road tunnels
The most extensive strikes in many years are threatening next Monday in the collective bargaining dispute in the railways and in the public sector: the railway and transport union (EVG) and the service union Verdi simultaneously called on Thursday employees in the transport industry and important infrastructure areas in Germany “to a day-long industrial dispute “.
As a result of the warning strike, Deutsche Bahn announced that it would stop all long-distance traffic on Monday. Even in regional transport, “mostly no trains will run,” the group said a few hours after the unions called for a strike. The warning strike will still affect rail traffic on Tuesday, it said.
In view of the “mood” in the companies, a high level of participation and “massive” effects in the entire transport sector are expected, said Verdi boss Frank Werneke.
Verdi called 120,000 employees nationwide to strike, EVG 230,000 bus and train workers. In addition to long-distance and local traffic, all airports except Berlin and shipping (including the Eberswalde and Frankfurt/Oder shipping offices) are affected.
Strikes at Autobahn GmbH could also lead to the closure of road tunnels – initially it was not clear where exactly. “We will take a look at certain tunnels,” announced Verdi Vice Christine Behle. These would be closed, the passage would then be practically impossible.
Impact on the region difficult to predict
It is currently difficult to predict to what extent the warning strike in the transport and infrastructure sector will also affect Berlin and Brandenburg. It is certain that the BVG not on strike because a different collective agreement applies there. Buses, trams and subways will therefore run normally on Monday.
The Berliners S-Bahn expects “massive restrictions” in its own operations. “The prerequisite for train operation on the S-Bahn is that employees in the network operations center and the workshops start their service,” said a spokesman on Thursday. More details are not yet foreseeable.
Also the Regional traffic in Berlin and Brandenburg is on strike. This was confirmed by Verdi and EVG. However, the extent is unclear, because the engine drivers and train attendants are organized in the GDL, whose collective agreement is still running. On the other hand dispatchers are organized in the EVG. But if the signals are not set, no trains can run.
Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH (Odeg) is not on strike, but is also dependent on the infrastructure (tracks, signals, etc.) because of the strike. The same applies to the Niederbarnimer railway.
Am There will be no warning strikes at BER Airport. This was confirmed by the airport company Berlin-Brandenburg on Thursday evening. In flight operations, however, cancellations are to be expected, especially in domestic air traffic, it said.
Also locks on major waterways should be struck. Certain areas were then completely blocked, it said. The port of Hamburg will sometimes no longer be accessible for large ships, it said.
Verdi also announced, too public facilities to strike in several federal states – including hospitals in Potsdam and Brandenburg an der Havel as well as the Potsdam municipal waste disposal. Numerous communities and day-care centers are also affected.
Industrial action should last 24 hours
The industrial action is scheduled to begin at midnight Monday night and last 24 hours. Unions are advising travelers to be at desired destinations as early as Sunday if possible, as some strikers with evening shifts could begin industrial action.
The unions are “confronted with a completely inadequate offer, and that’s why it’s important for us to make it clear again at the beginning and before the start of the third round of collective bargaining next Monday that our demands have broad support among the workforce,” Werneke continued . That will show up on Monday. EVG boss Martin Burkert said that the employers “closed all eyes to the economic needs of the employees”.
Bahn criticizes strike as “groundless and unnecessary”
The Chief Human Resources Officer of Deutsche Bahn, Martin Seiler, expects almost a complete standstill on the rails due to the large-scale warning strike. “We assume that on Monday the country will be paralyzed and that there will be almost no rail traffic,” he said.
“Of course we are also very willing to show goodwill in such situations.” Nevertheless, he advised all passengers: “Anyone who can rearrange should do so accordingly.”
The railway criticized the industrial action as “groundless and unnecessary”. “The EVG must face up to its responsibility and return to the negotiating table immediately,” demanded HR director Martin Seiler. “Our employees and passengers now need a quick solution, not a big warning strike.”
The Pro Bahn passenger association meanwhile called for “minimal transport” on the rails – for example in the form of an emergency timetable. “We are familiar with such agreements from other sectors, such as emergency services for hospitals or in the steel industry,” said the association’s honorary chairman, Karl-Peter Naumann, to dpa: “It would be good to stick to the train.”
The airport association ADV criticized the call by the unions as “strike escalation based on the French model”. “The trade unions are saying goodbye to the proven tradition that solutions are reached at the negotiating table in Germany,” explained General Manager Ralph Beisel. The announced actions “go beyond every imaginable and justifiable measure”.
EVG is negotiating with 50 train and bus companies
With the actions, Verdi is increasing the pressure for the third round of negotiations with the federal and local governments, which begins on Monday. Together with the civil servants’ association dbb, the union for the public sector is demanding 10.5 percent and at least 500 euros more wages. The employers submitted an offer in the second round of negotiations at the end of February. Among other things, it includes a pay increase of five percent in two steps and one-off payments totaling 2,500 euros.
At the end of February, EVG began negotiations with Deutsche Bahn and around 50 other railway companies. The first round of negotiations with all companies ended this Thursday. The union had rejected an initial offer from Deutsche Bahn last week. She demands at least 650 euros more wages. In the case of higher wages, she is aiming for an increase of twelve percent with a term of the collective agreement of twelve months. Among other things, Deutsche Bahn had offered to raise the wages of the approximately 180,000 employees affected by a total of 5 percent in two steps and promised one-off payments totaling 2,500 euros.
Local and long-distance transport as well as airports all over Germany were struck more than 30 years ago in the course of a strike that lasted several weeks. During this tough industrial dispute in the public service in the spring of 1992, several hundred thousand employees temporarily stopped working. However, this was a regular industrial action, not a warning strike.
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