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German unions voice solidarity with strikes
Photo: DPA

German unions voice solidarity with strikes

Published: 14 Nov 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00

The head of Germany's Federation of Trade Unions warned against the effects of austerity cuts in crisis-wracked southern European countries Wednesday and voiced solidarity ahead of Europe-wide rallies and strikes.

The DGB, Europe's biggest trade union confederation with about eight million members, is organising demonstrations in several German towns. But it has not called a strike to mark the anti-austerity day.

"In Greece, Spain, Portugal, savings are being carried out in a one-sided way, at the expense of the people," DGB president Michael Sommer said on public broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur.

"These countries are not only making cutbacks but are being cut back to death. It's for that reason there is this resistance, this revolt," he said.

Germany had survived the second wave of Europe's financial crisis "relatively well" until now, Sommer said. Europe's top economy was beginning to slow down in certain sectors such as cars and chemicals, he noted.

"We want the right measures against the crisis, that means investing against the crisis and not making savings at all costs," he said.

And he appealed for action to tackle what he called the root cause of the financial crisis, describing it as the "domination by the financial markets".

"We stand in solidarity," Sommer added saying various events were planned in Germany to mark the European day of action to protest austerity cuts.

"We are going to send a message of solidarity to these countries," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spearheaded the European drive for budgetary discipline as an answer to the eurozone debt crisis, but critics say the policy is snuffing out the economic growth necessary for a viable recovery.

The strikes have also affected hundreds of flights across Europe, especially those to and from Spain and Portugal. A handful of flights have been cancelled in Germany.

Düsseldorf airport reported that 11 flights to and from Spain have been cancelled, while Frankfurt airport - Germany's biggest hub - reported eight cancelled flights. Three flights were also cancelled at Stuttgart airport, and a further four at Berlin Tegel.

All high-speed Thalys rail services between Belgium and Germany were also cancelled on Wednesday.

The Local/AFP/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:24 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Basically Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde is saying 'Let them eat cake'. 'Qu'ils mangent de la brioche'. It is about time reality was made to bite her in the ass.
15:54 November 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Fire them all. Unions have run countless companies bankrupt, killed whole industries and caused untold economic damage, through their greed. Unions don't care that there is a recession. Its no coincidence that Unions and the Mob have a long history together.

All a bunch of quack Odumbo voters, too. Can't wait to see what things look like in 4 years.

http://youtu.be/pqUqgSW2NEs
16:06 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@ichbinkoening

I really wonder what it is you smoke. Your points of view are so twisted I reckon if you swallowed a nail it would come out the other end as a screw.
16:23 November 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Haha! Let me guess, Berlin fuer alles, are you the one who lit that car on fire?

Impressive insults, that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. NIce Job, Idiot!
16:42 November 14, 2012 by ProgandaLady
Berlin fuer alles is a fool.

Anybody that doubts the connection between The Mafia, Unions, Violence, and failed Industries need only watch this;

http://youtu.be/Va0EWn_Mn-U
16:46 November 14, 2012 by smart2012
Hi Berlin Fur Alles, are you still listening at Konig??? Leave him doing his bla bla which has always been contraddicted by the facts.

and yes, I fully agree with you, Fraun Verkel is a dangerous animal and all of the bad situation we are in has been led by her...

And this is killing Germany too now.... Germans, get rid of her, but do not vote someone like Konig, otherwise we will have a ww3 :-)
16:55 November 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Awww. WHats the Matter Smart? Talking about WWIII again??? HAHAHA!

Idiot, this YOUR Euro dream ! Remember your idiot argument? The one where all the BROKE countries were needed to bolster German Industy? to buy German goods?? How's that working out, Idiot? How are those German goods selling to bankrupt countries?? HAHAHA. Its hard to conceive how dumb you are!

LOL
17:01 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Actually IchBin it is working out pretty much how smart2012 said it would. Germany is imploding. Recession is coming to your fatherland whether you like it or not. You can throw all the insults you like. Nobody takes you and your ilk serious anyway.
17:05 November 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
No, Berlin, you're 100% wrong

Its working out the way MY Ilk said it would:

Socialism will fail in Europe, and the Euro will fail.
17:12 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
keep dreaming those twisted little dreams you have IchBin. They are contradicting dreams anyway.
17:23 November 14, 2012 by Eric1
Socialism/Communism have destroy more lives in the passed hundred years than all other systems of government since the Earth cooled. Socialism is the opiate of so many.
17:27 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
And IchBin's preferred system hasn't Erich1?
17:44 November 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ Berlin

My system of Individual Rights, Liberty, Free Market, Austrian Economics has brought more prosperity and good to the world than your Backwater 3rd World country System ever has.
17:45 November 14, 2012 by ambar
Crisis will be soon in Germany due to a radical boycott to german products and services all around Southern Europe.
17:50 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Is that what you call it IchBin? You really are twisted and confused. At least take word 'Liberty' out of that sentence as you and your ilk do not know the meaning of that word. Same goes for 'individual rights'. You are a walking contradiction.
18:09 November 14, 2012 by leuteleute
Beware ! To hate Germans, it can cause multiple personality disorder .LoL
18:16 November 14, 2012 by Englishted
Back to the article ,I think the German unions have been poor in their support for Southern Europe ,workers of all countries union we have nothing to lose but corrupt bankers and politicians and very selfish individuals who comment on the "Local "web site.

"All a bunch of quack Odumbo voters, too" and connected to the "mob"

wow for a split second I thought the subject was the U.S.A. but that I believe is a republic and has no need of a king ?.
19:06 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Agree with you here actually Englisted. The German unions should have been faster off the mark in showing support for Greek demenostrations against austerity.
19:47 November 14, 2012 by smart2012
Konig is ridiculous :) socialism??? In the last 10 years in Germany and Europe we had centre right parties, the so called liberals. Verkel, berlusconi and sarkozy. Only since last year this is changing (thanks to the French who opened the first door).

Second: re union and Germany. Germans are know to be followers and not to challenge their guide even if the guide is bad.. This is why I am not surprised that in Germany they were able to approve silently 400 euro and temp agency jobs, which have created 25% of poor within the German society...
20:10 November 14, 2012 by ubulord
The Euro Crisis Explained To Grannies: For a very simple (and funny) explanation for the euro crisis, just write on your search engine: wordpress blog The euro crisis explained to grannies
16:24 November 15, 2012 by hanskarl
Trade unions are a school of communism. -Vladimir Lenin
20:27 November 15, 2012 by Englishted
@hanskarl,

And your point is?
06:10 November 16, 2012 by hanskarl
Indocrination in trade unions begins with getting individuals to commit to a philosophy of collectivism. It is the place where the whole basis for the collectivist philosophy and doctrine is taught, encouraged and embraced. Their ideal is training one to usurp ones individual rights for acceptance of collective bargaining and therefore control by the hierarchy of the union. From there you develop your future leaders. "Lenin saw the trade unions as schools for communist management. In a decree on the trade unions and their role in NEP published on January 12, 1922, Lenin said, "Being a school of communism in general, the trade unions must, in particular, be a school for training the whole mass of workers, and eventually all working people, in the art of managing socialist industry.....)."" (http://sfr-21(dot)org/cultural-revolution.html)

This was not the purpose of unions in the beginning. It was to provide a benchmark and level of expertise in Europe. In the US it was to end horribly poor and unsafe working conditions and child labor. It has since been used as a vehicle to produce a means to an end. What you see in Greece is a direct result of unions with their government collapse due to huge cost overruns brought on by unrealistic union contracts. It may potentially end in political insurrection and ultimately anarchy. I opt for individual responsibility and the liberty to make my own choices. It can be a vicious world in that on the one hand you have greedy businesses and on the other power greedy unions.

Lenin saw the trade unions as a furtive garden to train hardline communists. To this day many union workers unbeknownst to them are in a sense exactly what Lenin was looking for to bring about his revolution to its final phase.
10:48 November 16, 2012 by AlexR
@IchBinKönig: "Unions have run countless companies bankrupt, killed whole industries and caused untold economic damage, through their greed."

Oh... I thought it was the greedy bankers and the corrupted politicians who did that. Things that you learn in The Local...
15:54 November 16, 2012 by hanskarl
It is happening in the US with the Hostess company of Houston, Texas. They were in bankruptcy for the second time in 10 years. They asked their bakers, a union of 5,500 workers, for cuts which the union promptly refused. Now, they are liquidating the whole business putting 18,500 workers on the streets. Isn't solidarity wonderful when solidarity shuts down a corporation ending that many jobs.......
20:19 November 16, 2012 by Englishted
@hanskarl

Without trade unions the employers would be looking for a return to "horribly poor and unsafe working conditions and child labor."

Twice in ten years and you blame the workers and not the management ?,

bosses have seen their wages rise by 25% in many companies yet austerity is the watchword ?.

When there is a fairer distribution of wealth and not a ever increasing gap between the rich and poor then your argument will stand up ,until the keep believing it is all down to the reds under the beds.
01:45 November 17, 2012 by hanskarl
I would first consider the unions unwillingness to work with management in the short term to overcome the bankruptcy and keep jobs.. Since it was a vote by its 5,500 members undoubtedly those union members who voted for concessions are also out in the cold along with the other 8,000 non union workers. What makes you think a collectivist mentality and society will accomplish impartiality? That is a joke in itself and proven in history again and again.

I am not at all worried about reds under my beds. I would rather reflect and worry over such statements as, "Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it" and hope that their numbers do not become the majority. Alas!! there is no hope!!!!
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