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Strike paralyses Berlin's public transport

The Local · 18 Feb 2012, 10:55

Published: 18 Feb 2012 10:55 GMT+01:00

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The capital, always full of tourists at weekends, was also hosting the Berlinale international film festival and was expecting around 70,000 football fans due at the Olympic stadium at 3 p.m. to watch Hertha BSC play Dortmund BVB, the Berliner Morgenpost daily reported on Saturday.

“The strikes on Saturday are just a light warning” said Andreas Splanemann, spokesman for services union Verdi. He added that if their demand for a wage matching inflation rates was not met, the situation would escalate.

Verdi is calling for better wages from the BVG, Berlin’s public transport company, although pay rates are set by the Association for Municipal Employers (KAV), which has said a decision would be made on Monday.

In Frankfurt airport, two-day-long strikes came to an end as planned, as employees also protested for increased pay.

DPA/The Local/jcw

Story continues below…

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:52 February 18, 2012 by Dave in Spain
Link this story with the story of a couple of days ago where it is alleged over 1 million jobs are unfulfilled in Germany and you get the real story. Wages declining and workers expected to work more and more for less and less. http://www.thelocal.de/money/20120216-40789.html

This tells the real story of why employers cannot get work done as easily as they would like ;-)
15:47 February 18, 2012 by catjones
Those who support the strikers have no place to get to. Likewise, comments like the above always assume the poor working guy who brings the country to its knees has right on his side, while the evil management is always the unreasonable party. Unions abuse their power too.
16:15 February 18, 2012 by vonSchwerin
Yes, please alienate the tourists who provide Berlin's only major industry. Kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs!

Instead of Sexy, but Poor, let's be Lazy, but Poor! Hurray!
17:34 February 18, 2012 by michelbisson
From outside we definitely have a different perspective as from the inside of the situation. When one sees the difference in perspective it's then difficult to take sides.

Each side pulling on the blanket create a tense situation. This where hopefully impartial mediation would come in place and hopefully resolve the issue. At the end both parties gets a piece of the cake instead of the whole cake ... well hopefully.
17:44 February 18, 2012 by Dave in Spain
Exactly michelbisson. This article is one sided and focuses on the disruption to tourists. The train strikes over the last couple of years which disrupted the ordinary Berliners going to work did not cause the management to bat an eyelid. After all it is every employees own responsibility to get to work some way anyway. No big business was hit in the pocket where it hurts so therefore there was no pressure to do something. Now that we see the potential hit to profit margins we will hopefully get a quicker and fairer solution. Unfortunate that it came to this to achieve this aim. But the pie has been getting shared more and more unfairly over the last few years and something had to give. This is not just a Berlin problem. It is a Nationwide, EU wide and world wide problem. Something along the lines of "Occupy Wall Street" is needed more often to make the top 1% stop in their tracks.
17:47 February 18, 2012 by raandy
I would like a little information concerning how much the avg. BVG drivers make and what their demands are as to how reasonable or unreasonable this is.
05:11 February 19, 2012 by Runnerguy45
From afar it seems as though the Unions work harder in Germany then the States. Unions for too long hurt production and quality in the States and now companies only go to right to work States and pay too low of a wage. There has to be some middle ground where both the worker and company can be profitable. I've always read that German companies respected workers. Hope it works out.
06:03 February 19, 2012 by wood artist

I'm with you. Before I'll take sides, I want to see the "deal" that they don't like.

In the US it's often been said that the thing that will stop a strike faster than anything else is to publish the "offer" that the union turned down. When too many people say "God, I'd gladly work for that deal" the union suddenly finds themselves appearing to be exactly what they are...greedy!

If you look at the "deal" the Detroit auto workers had before they were asked to help out, you'd see how completely out of touch they were with reality. Thousands of folks would have uprooted and moved to Detroit in a heartbeat. "Yeah, I'll work for that...and be better off than I am or ever have been."

So, what does the BVD pay now?

10:36 February 20, 2012 by ChrisRea
The figures published in the press for a typical BVG bus driver are 24,800 euro gross per year (~1,300 euro net per month).
13:26 February 20, 2012 by moshe rosen
TO: Raandy regarding your blog. BVD is a very large maker of underwear in the world. Your question: So, what does the BVD pay now? NO idea but you may want to check their website.

Do people ever check what they have written? A poorly written blog or one with many mis-spellings drags down what the writer wants to convey

So, if you want ot have your good ideas make an impact, go over one time to check spelling and sentance content.

No, I am not trying to break your chops but rather to have you improve your communications.

Good luck!,Moshe
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