Collective bargaining dispute: Next warning strike on the railways is imminent – ​​economy

The next warning strike at Deutsche Bahn is imminent. In the coming days, the employees would stop their work, according to circles of the railway union EVG. The news agency Reuters reported that it was next Friday. At a press conference on Wednesday morning, the EVG wants to present the strike plans, and the railways have also invited to a press conference.

The background to the forthcoming warning strike is the faltering collective bargaining round in which the EVG is negotiating with around 50 train companies, above all with Deutsche Bahn. The trade unionists are demanding twelve percent more money, but at least 650 euros gross more per month. According to their idea, the new collective agreement should apply for one year. For low earners such as cleaning staff or railway security staff, the demands would correspond to a salary increase of more than 25 percent. The EVG negotiates for 230,000 employees, 180,000 of whom are employed by the railways.

The negotiating climate between Deutsche Bahn and the union is tense. With a large-scale transport strike, EVG and Verdi had already largely paralyzed long-distance and local transport in Germany for one day at the end of March. The reason given was that the railway management had not seriously negotiated until then. After some hesitation, the railways initially offered five percent more wages and an inflation premium of 2,500 euros, the term of the collective agreement should have been 27 months. The ECG was clearly not enough.

On the employer side, on the other hand, they were not only annoyed about the violent warning strike, but also about the fact that the EVG did not want to bring forward the next negotiation date with the railways – April 25th is scheduled for this. “The union cannot be serious about going on strike now and then not negotiating for four weeks,” said HR director Martin Seiler.

This week there was some excitement at EVG about a new advance by Seiler. On Saturday, the arbitration proposal for the public service became known: The commission recommends unionists and employers in this industry to conclude a contract over two years: In the first year there should be an inflation premium of 3000 euros, in the second year wage increases of an average of around eleven percent. Seiler said that the railways had a degree in mind that should be “rail-specific” and “based on the volume of the public service”.

Unions point to restraint during the Corona period

However, EVG’s chief negotiators, Kristian Loroch and Cosima Ingenschay, vehemently rejected this. They are particularly critical of the idea of ​​an inflation premium, instead demanding a quick, classic salary increase. Loroch spoke of a “provocation”, Ingenschay said: “We don’t want terms of 24 months or longer, we don’t want inflation compensation either. We want our colleagues to have more money permanently.”

On the one hand, the trade unionists justify their high demands with inflation, which has risen sharply in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. On the other hand, they point out that in the Corona years, when the trains were empty, they exercised restraint out of economic responsibility. The lost wages must now be made up for.

In view of the widely differing positions, it seems unlikely that there will be an agreement in the negotiations starting on April 25. And even if they did, rail customers would probably have to be prepared for a rather short strike break. In October, the collective agreement with the engine drivers’ union GDL, which is considered to be particularly combative, expires.

Airports are also on strike again

Travelers also have to be prepared for restrictions this week at Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Cologne/Bonn airports. The Verdi union called on employees in aviation security, passenger control, personnel and goods control and service areas to go on all-day warning strikes for Thursday and Friday. “In connection with the strike, longer waiting times up to and including flight cancellations or cancellations are to be expected,” warned Verdi. Hamburg Airport announced that all departures would be canceled due to the warning strike on Thursday and Friday. Landings are still possible, but there is a risk of flight cancellations and delays.

The collective bargaining dispute between Verdi and the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) is about the time supplements for night, weekend and holiday work and better pay for overtime. A written offer from the BDLS was insufficient, Verdi said.

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