‘Mega strike’ hits Germany — RT World News
Hundreds of thousands of public transport workers walked out on Monday, bringing the country to a standstill
Airports, bus stops and train stations were on lockdown across Germany on Monday as more than 400,000 public transport workers took part in a 24-hour strike. Workers are demanding wage increases to offset inflation, which has soared in Germany since last year.
The strike began at midnight and is expected to end Tuesday at midnight. Eight major German airports were affected, with the German Airports Association estimating around 380,000 travelers were stranded. Munich airport was completely closed from Sunday, with all flights canceled and its terminal deserted.
Deutsche Bahn said on Monday that all long-distance services had been canceled, while regional services were only restarting in certain areas on Monday evening. Trams, buses and metro lines were also affected across the country.
Freight trains were also halted, as was maritime traffic to and from Hamburg, Germany’s largest port and Europe’s third-largest.
The strike is the result of demands for wage increases by several large unions. Verdi, a public service union representing some 2.5 million employees, is asking for a salary increase of 10.5%, but not less than €500. EVG, which represents around 230,000 employees at Deutsche Bahn and a few other bus companies, is demanding a pay rise of 12% but no less than €650.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Reuters on Monday that an agreement between the government and the unions was likely to be reached this week.
Around 400,000 workers took part in the strike, Verdi chief Frank Werneke told German media. German newspapers described the walkout as a “mega strike” calling it the biggest such disruption in decades.
Werneke told German newspaper Bild that getting a pay rise was “a question of survival for several thousand employees” struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.
Once Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany saw its industrial production contract and inflation climb to 8.7% in February, from a constant rate of 0-2% between the mid-1990s and the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine last year.
Germany was heavily dependent on Russian gas and oil imports before the conflict, which all but ceased after the imposition of EU sanctions and the allegedly US-orchestrated destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. Although the German government announced in January that the country would narrowly avoid a recession this year, rating agency Fitch predicted earlier this month that the German economy would enter a recession by the end of 2023.
You can share this story on social media: