Dockers’ warning strike on Thursday | Free press

Verdi’s relationship is serious. For the first time in decades, she called on dockers in major German seaports to launch a warning strike.


For the first time in decades, a warning strike by dock workers at major German seaports threatens to stop operating ships.

Ahead of the third round of negotiations in the collective dispute between German port companies, which began on Friday, the Verdi union announced several hours of downtime in Hamburg, Emden, Bremen, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven during the late shift on Thursday. The offer for around 12,000 employees presented so far by the Central Union of German Sea Port Enterprises (ZDS) is insufficient and does not do justice to the situation, explained negotiator Verdi Maya Schwiegershausen-Güth. The employers’ side called the warning strikes irresponsible and unacceptable.

The dockers did a great job during the pandemic

“The colleagues in the port are furious. They want a reasonable offer, ”said Schwiegershausen-Güth. After all, they showed exceptional flexibility during the pandemic and did a lot of extra work. “They reached their limits, and sometimes exceeded them considerably. They kept things going with their own hands, ”emphasized negotiator Verdi. With the exception of the automotive sector, the volume of transhipments has even increased in almost all areas.

Hourly wages are expected to increase by EUR 1.20

Consequently, Verdi’s demands for 58 collective plants in Lower Saxony, Bremen and Hamburg are also justified. The union demands, inter alia, an unspecified “inflationary compensation” for employees and an hourly wage increase of EUR 1.20. The employers’ side has so far offered two increases, including and another of 3.2 and 2.8 percent. and one-off payments for a total amount of EUR 600. Schwiegershausen-Güth considers it reasonable that an hourly wage increase of 1.20 euros when wages are below 15 euros to a good 28 euros an hour means a wage increase of up to 14 percent. It was absolutely deserved considering the weight.

The opposing side calls for the strike to be abandoned

In turn, the ZDS negotiator Ulrike Riedel called the warning strike irresponsible and unacceptable. The employers ‘side made an offer to compensate employees’ losses in real wages. This offer is also in line with many other current Verdi collective agreements. “We call on the Federal Tariff Commission Verdi to refrain from strikes and negotiate on the basis of our good initial offer,” stressed Riedel.

Port operations are currently under tremendous pressure as a result of the corona pandemic and the associated global chaos in container transport. Disrupted supply chains with delayed container giants, some of which took weeks to complete, left the ports with almost no parking spaces left as containers that would otherwise have been transported one way or the other within hours now need to be temporarily stored . On the other hand, more and more ships are waiting to be cleared and are already piled up in the German Gulf. (dpa)

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