The head of the civil servants’ association had found clear words for federal and local employees even before the start of collective bargaining: Ulrich Silberbach threatened a “lockdown” through widespread strikes in the public sector if employers did not submit an offer after three rounds of negotiations. Udo Milbret, spokesman for Verdi in North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Friday: “People have to prepare for warning strikes in the next few weeks.”
The full warning strike plans are not yet known. But so much already: This Monday, for example, there will be a strike in Essen clinics (8 a.m.) or in the Gütersloh city administration (9 a.m.), on Tuesday there should be significant effects on local transport in many NRW cities.
For Tuesday, Verdi has called for warning strikes in local transport in Aachen (ASEAG), Bonn (SWB Bus und Bahn), Cologne (KVB), Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen (Ruhrbahn), Oberhausen (STOAG) and at NIAG on the Lower Rhine. In addition, there should be strikes in city administrations, technical companies, music schools, recycling yards, savings banks, citizens’ offices or daycare centers during the week. A Verdi spokesman emphasized with regard to the daycare centers that parents would be informed early on so that they could look after their children.
Employees of the municipal utility group in Bielefeld already stopped work last Thursday. The light rail traffic had to be completely stopped at times.
>>> Die Details: Consequences of the strike in Bielefeld
In other cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, strikes hit city administrations, daycare centers, waste disposal companies and clinics on Thursday. These included Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Wuppertal. While the actions in Bielefeld and Dortmund ended after one day, walkouts in Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid continued on Friday.
In the current collective bargaining round, Verdi and the civil servants’ association dbb are demanding 10.5 percent more income, but at least 500 euros more for the approximately 2.5 million employees in the public sector at federal and local level. According to Verdi, around 640,000 of these are in NRW. The term of the new collective agreement is to be twelve months. The second round of collective bargaining is scheduled for February 22nd and 23rd in Potsdam. The municipal employers in North Rhine-Westphalia described the salary demands to the “German Press Agency” as economically “unmanageable”.
German postal service
Violent waves of strikes are imminent in the post office. After the Verdi union had declared collective bargaining for the 160,000 postal workers to have failed, they initiated a strike ballot on an industrial dispute. A three-day marathon of negotiations had previously ended in Düsseldorf without an agreement.
>>> Die Details:Larger strikes are imminent at the post office
In recent weeks, the union had repeatedly called on workers to go on warning strikes. According to Verdi, around 23,000 postal workers recently took part in work stoppages. Postal workers in Ostwestfalen-Lippe also stopped working several times, including in the Bielefeld parcel center and in the Herford letter center.
There could soon be early, clear warning strikes on the rails as well: The railway and transport union (EVG) is entering the first wage round with a wage demand of twelve percent or at least 650 euros more monthly salary. The EVG demands 325 euros more per month for junior staff.
The union is negotiating a new collective agreement in 50 rail and bus companies nationwide. The collective bargaining round starts on February 28 with Deutsche Bahn. The EVG is the largest railway union in the company. By the end of March, negotiations should have taken place with all companies. The union expects that there will be “relatively quick disputes with the employers” because “seriousness in the preliminary talks” was not yet evident. Already after the first round of negotiations there could be the first work stoppages.
With material from the dpa.