Germany braces for biggest strike in decades – Bild – RT World News
The country is set to be ‘paralyzed’ on Monday as public transport workers demonstrate for pay rises
Public transport across Germany will stop on Monday, potentially leaving the nation of 83 million in a state of “traffic chaos” the Bild warned on Sunday. What is being called the biggest national strike in decades has been organized by several powerful unions.
All long-distance rail services from Germany’s national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, will be completely halted due to the strike, the company said. Regional train service will be significantly reduced, while short-distance city trains, known in Germany as S-Bahn, will also not operate, he added.
In seven German states – Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and parts of Bavaria – local transport workers will also join the strike, which means that all bus, train and tram traffic will likely be paralyzed, German magazine Stern reported.
The country’s airport association, ADV, has already estimated that some 380,000 travelers will not be able to fly on Monday due to the strike. This comes ahead of the Easter holidays in Germany, which begin Monday in Lower Saxony and the city of Bremen.
Stern warned against “traffic chaos” on the highways, while Bild called the planned work stoppage “the worst strike in 31 years” adding that Germany last experienced something similar in 1992. Stern also described it as a “declaration of war against… the country’s infrastructure providers”.
The strike is the result of demands for wage increases by several large unions. The public services union, Verdi, is demanding a salary increase of 10.5%, but not less than €500 for some 2.5 million civil servants. The railway and transport union (EVG) is demanding a salary increase of 12% but not less than €650. Unions blame inflation and rising commodity prices for the crisis.
A “high enough” the minimum wage is required for low-to-middle-income employees to successfully weather the effects of price hikes, Verdi chief Frank Werneke told Bild. “They are the hardest hit by inflation. Everyone has to fill the fridge. Food prices have risen sharply, as have electricity and gas,” he argued.
Germany, along with other EU states, faced economic difficulties last year as the bloc embarked on a gradual reduction in its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Although the EU has not banned Russian pipeline imports, flows have declined significantly due to Ukraine-related sanctions and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline. Earlier in March, the Ifo Institute for Economic Research warned that Germany could face a recession in 2023.
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