Mith a major warning strike, the EVG and Verdi unions largely paralyzed rail, air and shipping traffic throughout the country. Commuters and travelers were prepared. There was no major traffic chaos. But the effects should also be felt in the first half of the day on Tuesday.
In rail traffic in particular, it should take a few hours before everything runs smoothly again. According to Bahn, after the long-distance traffic has come to a complete standstill, it will take some time before the trains leave the depots and the staff are back where they are needed. Travelers must therefore be prepared for cancellations and delays in the first half of the day. The restrictions also affect regional and S-Bahn traffic to a lesser extent.
Frankfurt Airport advises travelers to plan enough time
The airport association ADV assumes that air traffic can quickly start as planned. It is not the first warning strike of this kind, even if the scale is large this time, said a spokeswoman for the association. In earlier warning strikes, the ramp-up worked largely smoothly. Nevertheless, Frankfurt Airport advises travelers to check the status of their flight early and allow enough time. Due to the strike, it is possible that there will be longer waiting times on Tuesday.
For the days up to and during Easter, at least the EVG no longer wants to call warning strikes in rail traffic. “Since we do not want to strike the travelers, but the employers, we can announce that we will not negotiate over Easter and therefore not go on strike,” said EVG collective bargaining board member Kristian Loroch.
Verdi did not make such a clear statement, but even there those responsible let it be known that nothing is planned up to and beyond Easter. “If the negotiations don’t work at all, we can imagine doing it again,” said a district spokeswoman in Berlin. “Before Easter, however, is not realistic.”
With the nationwide warning strikes, the unions increased the pressure on employers in their respective collective bargaining. The third round of negotiations between Verdi and the civil servants’ association with the federal and local governments in the public sector has been running since Monday. In view of the hardened fronts, it was unclear whether a breakthrough would be achieved in the three-day round.
The head of the civil servants’ association, Ulrich Silberbach, brought failure into play. In the event that the employers did not significantly improve their offer, he said: “We would then probably go to arbitration. If that doesn’t lead to a result, then it will be very dark in Germany again. Then we will have to enter into a nationwide, unlimited labor dispute.”
The EVG is negotiating with Deutsche Bahn and 50 other railway companies about more money for around 230,000 employees. The first round of negotiations ended last week. According to the EVG, the second starts on Wednesday. Then, little by little, negotiations will be held with all railway companies. The talks with Deutsche Bahn as the largest employer are scheduled for the end of April. Here, too, the ideas are far apart.
Faeser expresses understanding for the concerns of the employees
With the warning strikes, the unions are trying to signal their willingness and strength to strike. They largely paralyzed traffic in Germany. It remains to be seen whether they made it difficult to reach an agreement with the employers. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser at least expressed understanding for the concerns of the employees. “Many people, including those in the public sector, are suffering from high energy prices and high inflation these days. That’s why it’s our job to find a good deal together.”
Deutsche Bahn, on the other hand, repeatedly emphasizes its great lack of understanding that the second round of collective bargaining, which begins on Wednesday, will only come so late. “It is very strange that they are on strike today and are only ready to negotiate with us again in five weeks,” said a spokesman. EVG collective bargaining board member Kristian Loroch, on the other hand, pointed out that the negotiation schedule had been coordinated with all those involved before the first round.