A bus blocked the access to a depot of the Cologne transport company
Henning Kaiser / dpa
Because of a warning strike in local public transport, buses and trains in numerous cities and regions have been standing still since the morning hours.
For example, Berlin, Hamburg, the Hanover region, Magdeburg, Kiel and Erfurt are affected.
In Munich, Konstanz and Freiburg, too, employees in local public transport want to stop working.
The companies called on their customers to forego unnecessary journeys in the morning and to switch to other means of transport.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, schoolchildren with a long way to school are even exempt from lessons because of the warning strike on Tuesday if their bus or tram is not running.
The trade union Ver.di has called for work stoppages in order to enforce a nationwide collective agreement for around 87,000 employees in local public transport - in particular for uniform regulations for the compensation of overtime and the allowances for shift work. The employers have so far been hostile to the demands.
According to Ver.di, improvements in the area of working time regulations and categorization are also being negotiated at the state level.
According to its own statements, the Association of Local Employers' Associations (VKA) reject the start of nationwide negotiations with simultaneous collective bargaining rounds at state level.
Ver.di division manager: "It's not about the money"
In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, where the working conditions of 30,000 employees are concerned, Ver.di expects more than 10,000 participants in the warning strike during the day, as union spokesman Tjark Sauer said.
The warning strikes began with the start of the morning shift at 3 a.m.
In Wuppertal, for example, the municipal utilities assumed that there would be no buses on Tuesday and that the customer centers would remain closed.
The suspension railway is currently out of service on weekdays anyway.
Ver.di federal chief Frank Werneke wants to speak to the employees in Wuppertal.
Due to the warning strike, massive disruptions in local traffic are to be expected nationwide.
I really regret the restrictions for passengers.
In Hamburg, employees of the elevated railway and the Hamburg transport company stopped working when operations began.
"Participation is high and the mood is good," said Ver.di Head of Transport, Natale Fontana.
The four subway lines of the Hanseatic city should be completely canceled by noon, the buses only run irregularly.
"It's not about the money, but about the working conditions," said Fontana.
Therefore, the union terminated the nationwide collective agreements in the spring.
Ver.di has also called on employees of transport companies in eleven Bavarian cities to take part in industrial action.
According to the union, there are warning strikes in Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Regensburg, Landshut, Fürth, Coburg, Bamberg, Aschaffenburg, Würzburg and Schweinfurt.
Employer: "Attack on the general public"
In Regensburg, bus traffic is completely paralyzed, according to the municipal utilities.
The Munich transport company assumes that the subways in the state capital cannot run at all, trams and buses only partially.
Nürnberger Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft has set up a strike schedule: instead of underground trains and trams, buses run along the night line network.
Employers had criticized the union's call for a warning strike as an "attack on the general public".
Ver.di said that the employers' refusal to negotiate a nationwide framework collective agreement "provoked the strike".
Many transport companies have already warned their customers and canceled parts of the offer.
The local trains of Deutsche Bahn and the other railway companies are not affected by the strike.
The Cologne transport company has announced that there will be no trams and that the bus routes will only be operated by subcontractors.
Local transport is to be completely canceled in Bochum.
"The local public transport is in a difficult situation nationwide. After 20 years of austerity on the back of the employees, the limits of resilience have been reached," criticized Verdi Vice President Christine Behle.
Despite increasing passenger numbers, 15,000 jobs have been cut in the last 20 years.
The consequences are high disease rates in the companies and a lack of young people.
Icon: The mirror
apr / dpa