March 28, 2023
From Socialist World
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On Monday, 27th March, tens of thousands railway and public sector workers came together in a “mega strike“. This action brought large parts of Germany’s public transport system to a halt. It was the first time for decades that such a joint strike action of two trade unions took place. They are conducting wage negotiations, at the same time.

The strike action was a huge success and follows a ‘warning strike’ wave involving postal and public sector workers, which grew bigger with every mobilisation over the last weeks. While the trade union negotiation commission agreed to a bad compromise for postal workers – which has been put to a ballot until the end of the week – in the public sector, negotiations are taking place until Thursday.

We publish below an article from solidaritaet.info, the website of Sozialistische organisation Solidarität (CWI in Germany) by Angelika Teweleit, the spokesperson for the network for a fighting and democratic ver.di and member of the steering commitee of the network for fighting trade unions (VKG)

socialist world.net

Monday’s joint warning strike by ver.di (public sector and services union) and EVG (railway union) largely paralysed local and long-distance public transport, as well as parts of the air transport sector. This strike day shows how much potential there is in joint strike action by workers.

On this day, the third round of negotiations for the federal and municipal governments also began. With this round, it comes to a decision: Is there a result that the negotiation commission of ver.di will agree to? It is not to be expected that an offer from the Association of Municipal Employers (VKA) and the federal government will even come close to the justified demands. Therefore, such an offer should not lead to an agreement. Instead, ver.di must make it clear that their demands are serious. If they are not met, the next step must be taken: ballot for an enforced strike.

Fully enforce demands

The willingness to fight is enormous. Many colleagues say that the demanded for 500 euros fixed salary, for twelve months, is already a minimum and that the union should not go below it. Compensation in the form of tax changes and a free, one-off payment are also unacceptable. And if there is to be a one-off payment, the increase of 500 euros must come now, and it should not preclude the other demands.

No to poor compromises

More and more work colleagues are also saying that a result like the one at the Deusche Post (German mail service company) is not acceptable. This sees a wage freeze until March 2024, and until then there is only the one-off payment. In addition, a much too-long term deal of two years was agreed at Deusche Post. This must not be allowed in the negotiations in the public service sector! Many workers at Deutsche Post are dissatisfied. The ballot on the acceptance of the Deusche Post deal will ends on 30 March. The network for a fighting and democratic ver.di has called for a “no” vote.

Use the opportunities!

More than 65,000 new members have joined ver.di since the beginning of 2023. That is good. But if we don’t want to lose as many or even more members later, we have to fight consistently for the union’s demands. Resolutions to this effect were passed by groups of trade unionists in Berlin and Leipzig. In addition, the petition, ‘Tarifrunden 2023 – Die Chancen nutzen’ ‘(Collective bargaining rounds 2023 – seize the opportunities’) has been well received and should be widely circulated and signed. This was initiated by the network for a fighting and democratic ver.di, which organised an online meeting, last week, with 45 trade unionists present. Another meeting will take place next Monday and will discuss the next steps.




Source: Socialistworld.net