Verdi does not only want to increase the pressure for the current collective labor agreement round. Soon, the warning strikes in the public service will turn into a storm. Hospitals include “steaming and bubbling”.
After the start of the warning strikes in the public sector, people must prepare for strikes on an even larger scale. “In the coming days and weeks, we will be calling on workers from across the spectrum of federal and local government to hold warning strikes,” Verdi chairman Frank Werneke said in Berlin. Further outstanding debts are scheduled for next Wednesday in several states. “There is energy in this wage dispute,” said the Verdi boss.
According to Werneke, the clinics will play an important role. “There is steam and cooking in the hospitals,” said the Verdi boss. There is a high expectation that the ongoing collective bargaining will result in a significant increase in income for more than two million federal and municipal workers. According to Werneke, employee displeasure is likely to be more noticeable in day care centers, nursing homes and all other areas as well.
Nationally, there was a “fairly flat start” in the warning strikes, Werneke said. On Tuesday, there were campaigns for municipal companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein, among others. “Here it was once a depot, there was once a city council, once a smaller hospital,” said Werneke.
The corona pandemic has implications for collective negotiation rounds
“We have to feel our way because there are hardly any empirical values with warning strikes under Corona conditions,” said the union chairman. However, in the collective labor agreement dispute at the post office, a total of 25,000 of the 140,000 employees took part in relevant campaigns. Werneke assured that hygiene rules should always be followed. “We will do that very carefully.” Verdi also takes its social responsibility in this way.
Werneke accused the municipal employers of pushing for the collective negotiation round in the midst of the pandemic this fall, with the aim of weakening the trade unions as a counterpart. They would have been mistaken.
Werneke opposed the idea that strikes were a ritual part of collective bargaining for the civil service. “I don’t see strikes as a ritual,” he said. In the corona situation they are even less clear. “There is real anger among employees about the behavior of employers.” They had not made an offer – arguing that workers should be happy not to be fired in times of crisis. “That is extremely bad,” said Werneke.
For local public transport, Werneke initially announced nationwide warning strike campaigns for one day. “We can strike here too,” he said. There are regional collective labor agreements in local public transport, but these have been terminated so that warning strikes are possible here too. According to Verdi, the municipal employers spoke out during the weekend against the negotiations on a national framework collective labor agreement for public transport employees. Next Friday, the union wants to inform about the next steps.