Labor & Workforce

General strike brings Germany’s public transport to halt

Berlin, Mar 27 (EFE).- The vast majority of flights, buses, trains and waterways across Germany ground to a halt on Monday amid a general strike in the public transport sector that is set to affect affected millions of passengers.

The 24-hour walkout, called by the trade union Verdi and the EVG union, is impacting almost all of Germany’s airports, long-distance and regional train services, ports and bus stations in seven states.

More than 30,000 employees at around 350 locations have downed tools since the early morning, according to EVG.

“We are striking today because in collective bargaining, despite the tight financial situation for many workers, we have not been presented with anything that is worthy of serious negotiations,” Kritian Loroch from the EVG said, according to local media.

A spokesperson for Germany’s national railway company the Deutsche Bahn said the EVG “mega-strike” was paralyzing the country, adding stations throughout the country were empty.

“Millions of passengers who depend on buses and trains are suffering the consequences of this excessive and exaggerated strike,” he pointed out, saying that “not everyone can work from home.”

“A solution to this salary conflict can only be reached at the negotiating table and we have put an offer on the table,” he continued.

Since midnight, some 350,000 workers in various sectors across the country have called for the so-called ‘warning’ strike.

Verdi and the civil servants’ association dbb are demanding a 10.5% salary increase in 12 months for the 2.5 million employees of the local and federal administration, but the employer rejected such demand and offered 5% in 27 months.

EVG is planning a fresh round of talks with the various rail companies starting this week, while negotiations with Deutsche Bahn will continue only after Easter.

Employers harshly criticized the coordinated action and stated that the stoppages are no longer recognizable to the public as a warning strike. EFE


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