Ver.di announces nationwide German public transport strike for February 2
Ver.di announces strike for February 2
Unlike the six-day strike carried out by Deutsche Bahn employees last week, which affected long-distance trains, regional trains and S-Bahn services, the warning strike planned for February 2 will bring U-Bahns, buses and trams to a standstill.
The strike comes as employees at local transport associations negotiate new collective bargaining agreements in all German federal states, apart from Bavaria. Services in cities and towns in Bavaria should run as normal on Friday.
What is ver.di demanding for services and employees?
Announcing the strikes on January 29 in Berlin, ver.di representative Darya Sotoodeh said that government spending cuts to transportation were making the country’s public transport networks unreliable.
The impact of Germany’s record-high worker shortage is also being felt. "In all areas, buses and trains are being cancelled because there are not enough employees," said ver.di deputy chair Christine Behle.
Many of the ver.di demands for local transport employees are related to how holiday leave and time off work are structured. The union argues that working in local transport must be more attractive in order to ease the worker shortage.
Among other things, ver.di is demanding that employees get 33 holiday days regardless of their standing in their association, a 10-minute break for drivers at the end of driving each line and a mandatory rest period of at least 12 hours between two shifts.
Another demand is granting employees one extra holiday day for every 100 hours worked on a night shift, up to a maximum of six days, and scrapping unpaid breaks for drivers.
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