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Next week there will also be public transport warning strikes in the southwest

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Next week there will also be public transport warning strikes in the southwest

Stuttgart. Commuters in the southwest will have to prepare for significant restrictions again in the coming week. March 1st will also be a main strike day in local public transport in Baden-Württemberg, a spokesman for the Verdi regional district said after a nationwide announcement on Thursday. The union is currently negotiating new collective agreements for local public transport companies in all federal states except Bavaria.

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Further details – such as whether there will be further days of strike and which cities exactly will be affected – were initially unclear. “As always, we will announce our strike days in good time so that passengers can prepare for them,” it said. Parallel to the warning strikes, Fridays For Future (FFF) is organizing numerous demonstrations for more climate protection on March 1st. Verdi and FFF have been working together for some time.

Strikes potentially affect seven cities in the southwest

In the southwest, seven local public transport companies are generally affected by the collective bargaining conflict: Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, Freiburg, Baden-Baden, Esslingen and Konstanz. At the beginning of February, Verdi called on the employees of all these companies to go on a day-long strike. In the past few days there have also been strikes in individual cities, including Stuttgart and Karlsruhe.

The exact effects will only become apparent in the coming days. If buses and trains from all companies remain in the depots, this will again largely paralyze public transport in the seven cities. Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to be affected. It remains to be seen whether individual lines will be served or whether there will be replacement timetables.

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rnv not affected by the strike

As on February 2nd, Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) is not affected by the strike this time, the company confirmed upon request. The company has its own collective agreement with a peace obligation until the end of the year. The rnv transports people in the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen as well as in the surrounding area.

Verdi demands better working conditions for 6,500 employees

There will also be warning strikes next week in the other affected federal states. According to Verdi, the labor disputes are planned on different days regionally, with March 1st as the main strike day. According to previous information, the negotiations affect more than 130 companies in cities and districts as well as a total of 90,000 employees – around 6,500 of them in Baden-Württemberg.

Negotiations are taking place in all federal states at the same time. However, the demands differ: In the southwest, Verdi wants, among other things, for working hours to be gradually reduced and for employees to be able to have their working hours fully credited in the event of delays. The union also wants to enforce a shift allowance.

Employer: Verdi demands are excessive and exaggerated

The Baden-Württemberg Municipal Employers’ Association (KAV) sits at the negotiating table for local transport companies. Managing Director Sylvana Donath recently criticized the demands as, among other things, excessive and unfinanceable. She had accused the union of irresponsible handling of the right to strike.

The union should also present the exaggerated demands in public – and not just behind closed doors, said Donath. The employers made offers to improve working conditions, which Verdi did not respond to.

The Southwest employers recently described the collective agreement as the gold standard. Given the high special payments and surcharges for Sunday and public holiday services, the regulations contained therein are far higher than those in other federal states. The next and third round of negotiations is scheduled for March 5th and 6th in Stuttgart.

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Recently there have been repeated restrictions due to strikes

Passengers have recently been repeatedly affected by other strikes: just at the beginning of February, the GDL train drivers’ union went on strike at Deutsche Bahn for several days. There were also warning strikes by Lufthansa ground staff and the pilots of the Lufthansa subsidiary Discovery. (dpa/with dk)

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