Berlin public transit wage dispute ends

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 23 May, 2008 Updated Fri 23 May 2008 14:25 CEST
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Protracted wage negotiations between trade union Verdi and Berlin public transport operator BVG finally ended on Friday with a compromise.

After months of tense talks and several public transportation strikes that forced Berliners to improvise their way around town, 34.3 percent of the Verdi members involved voted in favour of the agreement, union negotiator Frank Bäsler announced.

Even though the majority of Verdi members spoke out against the compromise, the vote required an approval of just 25 percent.

“A good horse never jumps higher than it needs to,” Bäsler commented on the vote.

The compromise includes a 4.6 percent pay raise, a single bonus payment, and an extra week of vacation for the 11,500 BVG workers.

Negotiations have been underway since January, with Verdi demanding a 9 percent pay raise for the city's public transportation workers.

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