Cops and bus drivers strike in Berlin

Germany’s capital faced renewed transit chaos on Wednesday as bus drivers walked off the job in an ongoing public transportation system wage dispute. The city’s police are also going on strike.

Cops and bus drivers strike in Berlin
Photo: DPA

The busses of Berlin’s BVG transit network stood still this morning, leaving miffed commuters to find other ways to work. “The drivers returned to the depots around midnight,” Frank Bäsler, the head negotiator for trade union Verdi, told daily newspaper Berliner Morgenpost.

The city’s extensive metro and tram network is not affected by the Wednesday strike; however, with much of the BVG’s maintenance crews already on the picket lines some 106 of 380 trams have been pulled from service.

Perhaps more worrying for Berliners could be the striking police officers, who are walking off the job on Wednesday as part of an unrelated civil service strike also organized by Verdi. Traditionally, Berlin’s cops have been busy on May 1 dealing with leftist troublemakers in the city’s Kreuzberg district.

“More than 600 officers who are really needed elsewhere, especially on May 1, will now have to step in for their colleagues protecting threatened buildings and in the prisons,” a police official said in the Berliner Morgenpost.