Majority understands the traffic strike

Majority understands the traffic strike

EAccording to a dpa survey, the majority of people in Germany have an understanding view of the all-day, comprehensive traffic warning strike next Monday. Around 55 percent of those surveyed consider the joint industrial action by the Verdi and EVG unions to be “rather” or “completely” justified. This emerges from the survey by the opinion research institute Yougov on behalf of the German Press Agency. Criticism of the trade unions’ actions, on the other hand, comes from the German Association of Towns and Municipalities. In order to facilitate the transport of goods, several federal states allow truck traffic on Sundays, which is otherwise prohibited on this day.

The Verdi union and the railway and transport union (EVG) have called for work stoppages in the transport sector on Monday. Long-distance, regional and S-Bahn rail traffic is on strike, as are almost all German airports and local public transport in seven federal states. Shipping is also affected, as is the motorway company.

Waiver of Sunday driving ban for trucks

Several federal states will refrain from enforcing the driving ban for trucks on Sunday. Goods transports can be brought forward if necessary. North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania announced that they would lift the truck driving ban on Sunday or not check it. Forwarders and retailers had previously advocated such an exception. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania wants to coordinate with the other states. A nationwide solution is needed,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport in Schwerin.

According to the Yougov survey, a good 38 percent find the campaign “rather not” or “not at all” justified, eight percent gave no answer. The same number of respondents considered the simultaneous striking of several means of transport to be justified or not justified.

Only a minority sees itself affected by the consequences of the warning strike: 69 percent of those surveyed stated that they would probably not be affected by the strike. One in five stated that they felt the effects as a user of buses and trains in local and regional transport. Seven percent were affected as long-distance travelers by train. Two percent expressed themselves as affected air travelers.

Municipalities upset: “General strike is getting close”

The German Association of Towns and Municipalities condemned the nationwide traffic strike. “Monday’s strike comes pretty close to a general strike and goes well beyond a warning strike,” the organization’s chief executive, Gerd Landsberg, told the Rheinische Post (Saturday).

This warning strike is particularly worrying for parents with small children, because Verdi is “also targeting the day-care centers again. The day-care centers have been on strike again and again for weeks, and there is also a high level of sick leave among the educators. “After the Corona horror, this is again a huge burden for families and often cannot be solved if both are working,” added Landsberg .

The Chairwoman of the Council of Economic Experts, Monika Schnitzer, showed understanding. “We see a collective bargaining conflict here that is neither unusual nor incomprehensible,” said Schnitzer of the “Rheinische Post”. Because of the high inflation, employees in Germany “had to accept an average real wage loss of more than three percent last year,” said Schnitzer. “For this year, too, we expect inflation of 6.6 percent.” Against this background, high wage demands are understandable.

Monika Schnitzer: Chairwoman of the Advisory Council

Monika Schnitzer: Chairwoman of the Advisory Council

Image: dpa

However, it must also be avoided that “a wage-price spiral drives inflation further,” warned Schnitzer. That is why the federal government has also made tax-free one-off payments from employers to employees possible and decided on measures to curb high energy costs. “I am convinced that the collective bargaining partners will ultimately reach an agreement that is acceptable to all sides,” said Schnitzer.

Trains busier at weekends

The strike announced for Monday is already having an impact on the trains. Deutsche Bahn speaks of a “significantly increased number of passengers and a high utilization of the trains, especially in long-distance traffic”. Travelers are therefore recommended to reserve a seat. “Train passengers are also asked to reach their intended destination as early as possible on Sunday, as there may already be disruptions to rail traffic in the evening,” it said.

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