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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Public service: Unions announce further warning strikes

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No agreement was reached in the second round of negotiations in the collective bargaining dispute for federal and local employees. The unions react angrily and want to expand the industrial action.

People in Germany have to be prepared for further warning strikes in the public sector. The Verdi services union called on all public employees in the Cologne, Bonn and Leverkusen metropolitan areas, among others, to go on an all-day warning strike on Monday. There will be significant restrictions on local public transport in the region. Verdi also announced work stoppages for Monday at the two largest airports in North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne-Bonn and Düsseldorf.

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The background is the negotiations for employees in the public sector at the federal and municipal level as well as the nationwide negotiations for employees in aviation security. Collective bargaining is currently being conducted for both groups of employees.

In Bavaria, the warning strikes in the public sector are to be expanded on Tuesday and cover the entire spectrum from waste management and parking space surveillance to daycare centers. The intensity of the warning strikes will increase over the coming weeks until the next round of negotiations on March 27, Verdi said.

The civil servants’ association dbb in Lower Saxony also called on federal and municipal employees to go on an all-day strike for Tuesday. There should be a big rally in front of the main train station in Hanover, he announced.

Second wage round without result

The second round of collective bargaining for around 2.5 million federal and local employees ended on Thursday without a result. Although the employers had submitted an offer, the unions immediately rejected this as insufficient and announced an extension of the warning strikes. Apparently, the past actions and protests were not enough to get employers to rethink, said Verdi boss Frank Werneke. “Then we’ll step it up a notch.”

Verdi and dbb are demanding 10.5 percent more income, but at least 500 euros more per month. The employer side had rejected the demands as “unaffordable”.

The negotiations concern, for example, educators, nurses, bus drivers, geriatric nurses, firefighters, garbage workers and a number of other professions that are employed by the federal government or in municipalities. A separate collective agreement applies to the employees of the federal states.

Source: Stern

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