Germany strikes today, biggest walkout in 30 years

Verdi workers not working Monday March 27

Two of  Germany´s biggest transport unions called a nationwide strike Monday March 27 and the country is today and possibly tomorrow experiencing widespread travel chaos.

The strike is nationwide and the unions involved represent the majority of the country´s transport workforce.

The mass strike follows a series of failed talks with employers in recent weeks.

The Verdi service workers’ union and the EVG union, representing many rail workers, announced the strike. Verdi represents more than 2.5 million public sector employees, while EVG represents around 230,000 workers on the railways and at bus companies.

It is rare for unions to join forces like this in Germany; the effects are likely to last into Tuesday, with some operators already cancelling services on that day too.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn announced on Thursday that no long distance trains will run on Monday, with “numerous trains” also being cancelled on Tuesday. They have urged passengers due to travel on Monday to postpone their trip to the next day if possible.

Germany’s busiest airport, Frankfurt Airport, said it is cancelling all flights on Monday. “All tasks that enable full flight operations are suspended due to the strike,” the airport’s operating company Fraport announced.

Munich Airport, the country’s second-busiest hub, has announced that there will be no passenger flights at all on Sunday and Monday.

Like in many other countries particularly in Europe, Germans are struggling with surging inflation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent food and energy costs soaring.

Verdi, engaged in a series of pay negotiations, is seeking a 10.5 per cent pay rise. Employers have offered a total of 5 per cent in two stages plus one-time payments of €2,500.

EVG is seeking a rise of 12 per cent. Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s main railway operator, has also offered a two-stage raise totalling 5 per cent plus one-time payments.

Germany’s inflation rate in February was 8.7 per cent.