Solidarity with public transport workers striking in Germany

29 Sep 2020

Last week, ETF reported on German affiliate ver.di’s call for strike action to fight back against German Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA – Vereinigung der kommunalen Arbeitgeberverbände) refusal to enter into collective bargaining for a national sector collective agreement for public transport workers.

Today, public transport workers all over Germany have gone on strike to fight for fair working conditions. ETF stands in solidarity! When employers refuse to cooperate and negotiate fair working conditions through collective bargaining, then it’s up to workers and unions to show them their strength and fight for their rights.

ver.di has been calling for a national framework collective bargaining agreement since March, and VKA has spoken out against negotiations despite their justified demands: Relief for 87,000 employees, adequate compensations for unavoidable burdens and the end to unequal treatment across federal states. Given the difficult situation of public transport nationwide and 20 years of austerity at the expense of employees’ well-being; enough is enough. It’s time for those 87.000 transport workers to be treated fairly!

“In view of the 15,000 missing jobs in local public transport and working conditions that make you sick, it is completely incomprehensible that employers reject nationwide collective bargaining. With this behavior they provoked strikes.”, said ver.di Chariman, Frank Werneke.

Public transport has been hit hard, and it’s time for employers and governments everywhere – not only in Germany – to step up. Collective public transport will play a key role in ensuring environmental sustainability, but social and environmental sustainability go hand in hand!

Investments, better working conditions, and commitment to attracting young transport workers and women to the sector! The ETF is and continues to call on EU policymakers and EU Member States to address the lack of attractive and safe working conditions, proper funding for collective public transport and sustainable infrastructure!

ver.di has published 5 key facts to read about their legitimate demands.