In the case of the subways in Munich, nothing will work for the time being because of the warning strike. © Sven Hoppe
The trade union Verdi has called on public transport workers in Bavaria to go on a 24-hour warning strike. Commuters and other passengers must be prepared for massive restrictions. Why is there another strike now?
Munich - Another strike day in Munich, again trams, subways and many buses are at a standstill (see box). For Munich commuters and other passengers, this means trouble and switching to other means of transport such as the S-Bahn. Reason: The trade union Verdi has called on the Bavarian transport companies to go on a warning strike (from Friday, 3.30 a.m., to Saturday, 3.30 a.m.). Why again?
Another warning strike in Munich - municipal utilities criticize the decision
On 2 and 3 March and on 27 March, the Munich Transport Company (MVG), among others, went on strike. As then, the collective bargaining for public transport in Bavaria is still at stake. Despite five rounds of negotiations, trade unions and employers such as the municipal utilities have not yet been able to reach an agreement. "The logical consequence is these warning strikes," says Sinan Öztürk of Verdi.
"This call for a warning strike is as astonishing as it is annoying," says Werner Albrecht, who sits at the negotiating table for SWM. Actually, they had already agreed on the main thing: earnings. There is talk of adopting the latest collective bargaining agreement (TVöD) in the public sector for transport companies as well.
It's not about the money – that's what Franz Schütz of Verdi in Munich says. © Marcus Schlaf
It's not just about money - it's also about better working conditions
At the end of April, the federal government, employers and trade unions had agreed on a compromise: Among other things, the wages for employees – such as educators, firefighters and nurses – are to be increased next year, first by 200 euros and then again by 5.5 percent – at least by 340 euros per month. This was also discussed for the transport companies in Bavaria - for which a separate collective agreement applies: "That would have meant up to 14 percent wage increase for our drivers," says Albrecht.
Verdi agrees with the wage increases, even if it is still too little for the high cost of living in Munich, says union secretary Franz Schütz, chief negotiator for Munich. "But it's not just about money, it's also about working conditions." However, these are not part of the current negotiations.
And therein lies the crux. This is because the term of the collective bargaining agreement would be 24 months – further negotiations would be excluded for this time. Verdi does not want to accept this for public transport. "We want a shorter term so that we can negotiate the working conditions at the beginning of next year," says Schütz. This is what Verdi is now trying to achieve with the warning strike.
The consequences of the strike for Munich
There's definitely trouble – that's for sure for today. The Munich Transport Company (MVG) expects significant strike consequences: The subways will initially come to a complete standstill. Whether there will be sporadic trips during the day depends on the number of available staff. The priority should then be on the U6.
Something similar can be expected for the trams. Ready-to-use trains would be concentrated on individual lines – the 20s would be preferred here. In the case of buses, MVG assumes that about half of the vehicles will be used.
It is likely to be stressful not only during the morning rush hour and at noon for the students on the way home, but also again in the evening. TSV 1860 plays against Mannheim at 19 p.m. in the Grünwalder Stadium, you can't find a parking space by car, and the next S-Bahn stop is a good distance away. After all, the S-Bahn will basically run – it is not operated by the MVG, but by the railway.
In addition to Munich, today's strike also affects Augsburg, Landshut, Bayreuth, Schweinfurt, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Fürth and Regensburg.