This mobilization is part of a context of growing social tensions in Germany, where strikes for wages have multiplied since the beginning of the year, from schools to hospitals.
The call for mobilization is already widely followed. Employees of airports, rail, sea freight, motorway companies, local transport in Germany have been called since midnight, Monday March 27, at 24 hours off work. It is therefore the entire transport sector across the Rhine that is disrupted. Unlike countries like France, such a unitary movement between the EVG and Ver.di unions, representing 230,000 railway company employees and 2.5 million service employees respectively, is rare. This is a means of pressure from employees as the third round of wage negotiations begins for all territorial public sectors.
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Coffee in hand, one after the other these night workers register on strike lists at a boarding counter in a completely empty terminal at Cologne-Bonn airport in western Germany. The symbol is there: it is a massive strike, unheard of for 30 years, assures Frank Michael Munkler, union secretary. “It’s all new for us, but we have to push, employers only offer 3% raise so far“, he says.
“A hole of 600 euros every month”
The unions are demanding a 10 to 12% increase, a minimum of 500 euros more for the lowest salaries. Faced with inflation of nearly 9%, employees are no longer coping. Jean-Yves, father of five children, has worked night shifts in air freight for 28 years: “My wife does the accounts and with inflation, it’s a hole in our wallet between 500 and 600 euros every month!“, he regrets. Behind him, the strikers accumulate and there are already some 132 planes already removed. No train runs either from the nearby Bonn railway station.
For their part, the employers denounce a “excessive and disproportionate movement“. But many travellers, like Ina Müller approve of this historic strike.”I can understand people getting upset, but they just have to pay their employees properly.”she slips.
At the picket lines, we are already warning: if this is not enough, the movement will be renewed. Strikes have multiplied in Germany since the beginning of the year. At the beginning of March, German Post employees won wage increases of 8.5% over two years after a strike.
Source: France TV Info