Warning strikes in the public sector

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Tue 22nd Sep, 2020

LATESTCommuters will have to be prepared for warning strikes in public transport (ÖPNV) nationwide on Tuesday 29th. The trade union Verdi has scheduled work stoppages for that day to enforce a nationwide collective agreement for some 87,000 public transport workers. Employers have so far been reluctant to accept such a uniform regulation, which means of transport will be affected and to what extent can be seen in the press releases of the local transport companies.

For example, the Munich transport company MVG published the following announcement today:

Tuesday, 29 September: MVG is on strike

The underground, tram and bus will be on strike on Tuesday 29 September 2020. The Verdi trade union has called for a warning strike from the start of operations until 6 pm. For this reason, no metro operation is available during this time period. Considerable restrictions are expected for tram and bus services. The MVG recommends changing to other means of transport.


People in Germany are facing new warning strikes in the civil service. First work stoppages are to start on Tuesday as the trade union ver.di announced. Where and in which sectors there will be strikes will only be disclosed at the beginning of this week.

Background to the strikes

As the second round of collective bargaining with public employers failed to produce any results, the unions want to increase pressure. Ver.di demands a 4.8 percent increase in public sector wages, but at least 150 euros, for a period of twelve months. According to this, the remuneration of trainees is to be raised by 100 euros, the regulations for part-time work for older employees are to be improved and the working hours in the East are to be aligned with those in the West.

In which sectors will there be warning strikes?

Day-care centres, hospitals, public order offices or road maintenance depots are just some of the areas where strikes could lead to restrictions. There are thousands of different jobs in the public sector. They include nurses, bus drivers, swimmingpool staff, fire fighters, administrative staff, sewage plant workers, foresters and doctors. None of these sectors are excluded from strikes. Parents of small children could therefore be affected in the same way as, for example, road users on city streets. In the last collective bargaining round in 2018, massive warning strikes made life difficult for hundreds of thousands of parents, commuters and air passengers.

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer announced an offer by the employers for the third round of negotiations. This is scheduled for 22 and 23 October and sounds like the expectation of an agreement within the next few days. But the talks could also fail. Then there would be arbitration or regular strikes.

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