Warning strikes on public transport have been going on throughout Germany since this morning. The protests covered over 80 cities in 15 federal states. The strike is to last 24 hours. The airport in Hamburg is also closed for the second day, dpa reported.
Warning strikes on public transport were organized by the Verdi trade union. In many cities, buses and trams are not on the streets, and the metro is not running either. In most municipalities, the strike is planned for the whole day. In Berlin, the strike ended after a few hours – before noon.
Strikes in German cities
North Rhine-Westphalia was hit hardest by the strike. Out of approximately 90 thousand workers who take part in Friday’s protest, almost one third work in this particular federal state.
– The warning strike began as planned at the beginning of the morning shift, i.e. around 3-4 am – said Peter Bueddicker, Verdi representative in North Rhine-Westphalia. Employee participation in strikes is high there, as in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Saar.
The reason for the strike is collective negotiations to improve working conditions in the public transport industry in almost all federal states. Verdi demands, among other things, shorter working hours without reducing pay, longer rest periods between shifts, extended holidays. In Brandenburg, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, Verdi is demanding a 20 percent salary increase.
Strikes are not taking place only in Bavaria, where collective agreements between trade unions and municipal employers’ associations are still in force.
The Friday transport strike is supported by the Fridays for Future (FFF) climate movement, which advocates improving work in the industry, which is to be an alternative to cars.
Green politicians also expressed solidarity with the strikers. – Through their daily work, they ensure that millions of people in… Germany traveled in a climate-friendly way and at affordable prices. That is why it is important to take care of their good working conditions, said the leader of the Berlin Greens, Katharina Droege, for dpa.
Verdi also called for an extension of the protest by employees of the Hamburg airport, which has been closed for a second day due to the strike (the strike started there on Thursday morning). Employees at eleven large airports in Germany went on strike on Thursday.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL