The GEW counts more than 2,500 participants in another warning strike at schools on Wednesday. There was also a strike at Frosta. You can find all important information about the warning strikes here.

Thursday, May 23, 2024, 6:57 a.m.: Due to a warning strike by the Education and Science Union (GEW), classes were canceled in some Berlin schools on Wednesday. According to the GEW, more than 2,500 teachers, social educators and school psychologists took part in a demonstration in Berlin-Mitte. In addition, numerous decentralized actions took place in the districts. 

Since 2021, the GEW has been demanding a collective health protection agreement that regulates class sizes and other personnel support. Among other things, the union is calling for smaller school classes. In this way, healthier working conditions for the more than 34,000 teachers and other school employees could be achieved and at the same time a higher quality of teaching could be achieved, argues the GEW. 

The Berlin Senate rejects such discussions and refers to the collective bargaining community of the states (TdL). Without their consent, Berlin cannot begin collective bargaining about class sizes. The GEW does not accept this argument and has repeatedly organized warning strikes since 2021 to achieve its goal. Smaller classes can also be implemented by changing the school law. 

Tuesday, May 21st, 9:34 a.m.: The food-pleasure-restaurants union (NGG) has called for a warning strike on Tuesday morning in the collective bargaining dispute at the frozen food manufacturer Frosta in Bremerhaven. In the early shift, employees should stop work from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and emphasize their demands, the NGG said. 

The union is demanding 12 percent more wages for the approximately 700 employees over a term of the collective agreement of twelve months, as well as permanent employment of trainees in the profession they have learned and a travel allowance. The employers’ side wants a longer collective agreement and is offering 2.6 percent for this year and 1.9 percent for next year, as the union announced on Monday. 

Last year, an attempt was made to get as close as possible to the inflation of 2022 in order to avoid a loss of real wages, said NGG negotiator Iris Münkel: “It wasn’t entirely successful, but we were on the right track. The fact that such a low offer is now on the table is leading to great disappointment among the employees.” The company made good profits last year and paid out dividends in the millions.

The union criticized the employers’ side for acting as if the second year of high inflation and the associated increased financial worries among employees had not happened. For this year, the inflation of 2023 must also be compensated for and something added to the collective bargaining agreement. The next hearing is scheduled for May 27th.

Frosta increased its sales and profits last year. Sales rose by 10.4 percent to 639 million euros in 2023 compared to the previous year. The surplus rose to 34.1 million euros (2022: 24.3 million euros). 

2:59 p.m.: Due to another strike by bus drivers, numerous local transport connections in Hesse were canceled on Friday. According to information from the two transport associations NVV and RMV, bus routes were canceled in the Kassel district, the Schwalm-Eder district, Hanau, Gießen and Rüsselsheim, among others. 

There were hardly any buses in Frankfurt either, but in Hesse’s largest city, customers could still switch to the various trains comparatively easily. In the major cities of Kassel, Darmstadt and Wiesbaden, however, bus traffic ran largely normally because other collective agreements apply to most drivers there.

According to Verdi strike leader Jochen Koppel, 98 percent of the workforce in Hesse’s private bus companies took part in the warning strikes. The industrial action will be interrupted over Pentecost and then continued on Tuesday and Wednesday with the same intensity, the union official announced. The first warning strike took place on April 24. Negotiations are scheduled to resume next Friday (May 24).

In the collective bargaining dispute, the union is demanding that salaries for around 6,000 employees increase by 8.5 percent in two stages. There should also be an inflation compensation of 3,000 euros for each employee and paid breaks. The employers rejected the demands as unaffordable and offered 9.3 percent more money in three stages.

Friday, May 17th, 11:50 a.m.: The Bauen Agrar Umwelt (IG BAU) industrial union wants to expand its warning strikes in the main construction industry next week. The labor dispute would be extended to the transport infrastructure, the union announced on Friday in Frankfurt after five days of strike. To this end, construction sites on roads, railways or bridges should be shut down at certain points throughout Germany.

The construction workers are highly motivated to fight for their wage increase, said IG BAU boss Robert Feiger. “We will not let up until the construction companies submit an offer that is above the arbitrator’s award.” In the first week, around 12,500 employees took part in the strikes. 

The background is the collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry with 930,000 employees that collapsed at the beginning of May. After three unsuccessful rounds of negotiations, the arbitrator Rainer Schlegel proposed two-stage wage increases on April 19th. Initially, incomes were to increase by a flat rate of 250 euros in May and eleven months later by another 4.15 percent in the west and 4.95 percent in the east. While IG BAU accepted the compromise proposal, the employers’ associations rejected it at the beginning of May. IG BAU is now on strike for its original demand for 500 euros more per month.

5.31 p.m.: Customers have to expect cancellations on numerous bus routes in Hesse this Friday. The Verdi union has once again called on the drivers of private bus companies to go on an all-day warning strike, which will also last on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Pentecost. 

Almost all bus routes in Frankfurt as well as connections in many medium-sized cities and rural areas are affected. In the large cities of Kassel, Darmstadt and Wiesbaden, however, normal bus traffic can be expected because different collective agreements apply to the drivers there. 

In the collective bargaining dispute, the union is demanding that salaries increase by 8.5 percent in two stages. There should also be an inflation compensation of 3,000 euros for each employee and paid breaks. The employers rejected the demands as unaffordable and offered 9.3 percent more money in three stages. 

Thursday, May 16th, 12:41 p.m.: Hundreds of Telekom employees gathered in front of the MHP Arena in Stuttgart for a warning strike following a call from the Verdi union. State labor campaign leader Christian Filusch said on Thursday that around 300 employees were on site for the rally in the late morning. This is intended to maintain the pressure in the ongoing collective bargaining. 

In 2019, Telekom received comprehensive media rights for the tournament from the European football association UEFA. All 51 European Championship games will be shown on the Telekom streaming service MagentaTV, five of them exclusively. In order for things to run smoothly, some of the technology still needs to be expanded before the start on June 14th. “The Telekom employees are highly motivated to provide technical support for the football event,” said Filusch. “But first there has to be a proper collective bargaining agreement in place.”

The call for a strike was aimed at all areas of Telekom from the Stuttgart, Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Göppingen regions, as it was said. The consequences for customers have sometimes been longer waiting times on the service hotline or postponed appointments for new connections. According to information, around 4,500 employees work for Telekom in Baden-Württemberg. There were also calls for warning strikes in the other nine cities that are hosting games at the European Championship. 

After the employer presented an improved offer in the fourth round of collective bargaining on Tuesday evening, the round was extended until Friday. In this year’s collective bargaining round, Verdi is demanding, among other things, a wage increase of 12 percent for the around 70,000 collective bargaining employees nationwide. 

Tuesday, May 14th, 4:51 p.m.: In the Bavarian hospitality industry, the signs are already pointing to a storm after the first round of collective bargaining. The NGG union broke off the talks on Monday after a short time, as negotiator Mustafa Öz said. Now we are planning actions up to and including a warning strike. According to Öz, these could also hit the opening day of the European Football Championship in mid-June if there are no new discussions by then. 

The two sides blamed each other for the demolition on Monday. Öz criticized the fact that Dehoga came to the table without an offer despite a long lead time and only made demands for a longer term. Dehoga, on the other hand, said that the NGG’s demand for a 14.5 percent wage increase was rejected as non-negotiable in view of the difficult circumstances with the after-effects of the corona pandemic and the end of the temporary VAT reduction. 

Dehoga emphasized that he would be ready to continue discussions as soon as there was a negotiable demand. Öz dismissed this as blackmail. 

It was initially unclear how many employees were being negotiated for. In the hospitality industry, with its many, sometimes very small, companies, both the collective bargaining agreement on the employer side and the level of union organization are rather low.

You can read more information about the warning strikes on the next pages.