Verdi does not rule out new public transport strikes in North Rhine-Westphalia

Friday, April 12, 10:36 am: In the collective dispute in the municipal transport companies of North Rhine-Westphalia, strikes are not ruled out despite an improved offer from employers. Strikes cannot yet be ruled out and a statement on the negotiation proposal is expected from March, Peter Büddicker, local transport expert at Verdi NRW, told the German Press Agency on Thursday.

In it, the union demands, among other things, six additional days of rest for the approximately 30,000 employees of municipal transportation companies. The business side presented an improved offer on Thursday. Among other things, it provides for up to four additional days off for certain groups of employees, as announced by the municipal employers' association KAV NW.

This means that the main demand raised by the unions for relief days will be largely met, it was said. Additionally, employees who voluntarily take on additional shifts should receive a ten percent bonus. There should also be improvements in time allocations.

The municipal employers' association referred to a significant salary increase on March 1, an extremely tense economic situation for local transport companies in North Rhine-Westphalia and a difficult personnel situation.

It was stated that the number of additional days off demanded by the unions would mean that the supply of public transport services could no longer be guaranteed to the same extent as before. Employers would be available to quickly resume collective bargaining.

Collective agreement at Lufthansa: cabin crew get more money

Thursday, April 11, 9:15 am: Airline passengers no longer have to fear major strikes in German air traffic this summer. With the cabin crew of Lufthansa, the last major professional group in the sector, the key points of a new collective agreement have been concluded, as announced on Thursday in Frankfurt by the Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) union.

The three-year long term guarantees peace in collective bargaining in the cabin until the end of 2026. In three stages, the salaries of the almost 19,000 employees, including the interest effect, will increase by 17.4 percent. Some benefits will also be increased. In addition, it was agreed that an inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros would be paid as soon as possible. The agreement is still subject to UFO members accepting it in a new vote.

Initially, the union had demanded 15 percent more money for half the 18-month term. Wages will now increase by 8 percent on May 1 of this year, by 5 percent on March 1, 2025 and finally by 3.5 percent on March 1, 2026. This results in an increase of 17, 4 percent for the entire period with the effect of interest. UFO has also committed not to call strikes for three months after the collective agreement expires at the beginning of the year 2026/27.

After the elections, Verdi plans strikes on local public transport

16:21: Millions of public transport passengers in North Rhine-Westphalia will once again have to face restrictions on trams, subways and buses. In a strike vote, 97 percent of voters among the approximately 30,000 employees of municipal transport companies voted in favor of an indefinite strike, as the Verdi union announced on Wednesday. At least 75 percent would have been necessary.

“We plan to start control strikes soon, but we are still ready to talk,” says Peter Büddicker, local transport expert at Verdi NRW. The “overwhelming voting result” sends a clear signal and makes it clear how angry employees are about employers' behavior. “The strike measures are aimed at companies, but we can still expect further impacts on passengers, which may vary in quality,” Büddicker said.

The background is collective bargaining over employees' working conditions. Verdi NRW declared negotiations on the general collective agreement unsuccessful after the third round of negotiations in Dortmund in mid-March. The union then called on its members to vote.

Verdi NRW is asking, among other things, for additional days off to ease the burden on staff and make professions more attractive. The association of municipal employers (KAV) of North Rhine-Westphalia had pointed out that on March 1 there was limited financial room and a significant salary increase. The employers' association recently explained the failure of collective bargaining with “unfulfillable demands.”

In February and March, Verdi NRW largely paralyzed local public transport in the most populous federal state with several warning strike calls of one or two days each. Around 30 municipal transport companies were affected, such as KVB (Cologne), Rheinbahn (Düsseldorf), DSW21 (Dortmund) and the municipal utility company Münster. Trams and subways remained in their depots due to work stoppages. In most cases, only a small proportion of regular buses operated by private subcontractors ran through the striking regions. An exception is the Aachen transport company Aseag, which has an internal collective agreement. Some other transport companies in NRW also did not go on strike.

Verdi: Postbank branches in Hamburg closed due to warning strike

Wednesday, April 10, 9:58 am: Ahead of the round of negotiations in the Postbank collective dispute, the Verdi union called on branch employees across the country to hold an all-day warning strike on Thursday. “Many branches in Hamburg will also be closed totally or partially, because the discontent of colleagues and their willingness to strike is great,” explained Wednesday the secretary of the Verdi union in Hamburg, Alexandra Luerssen. Back office and call center employees have already gone on strike and will continue their warning strike on Thursday.

To emphasize its collective demands, the Hamburg union is planning a demonstration march from the Dammtor train station to the union headquarters in Besenbinderhof on Thursday at 11.00.

Verdi calls for nationwide warning strikes at Postbank branches

Tuesday, April 9, 5:41 p.m.: Before the fourth round of negotiations in the Postbank collective dispute, the Verdi union extends its warning strikes. This Thursday, in addition to the employees of the service units (back office) and call center nationwide, they also call on branch employees to suspend their work. “This once again sends a clear signal that all employees support the demands for a significant improvement in wages and an extension of protection against dismissal,” Verdi negotiator Jan Duscheck said in Berlin. Starting this Tuesday there is a strike in the back office and call center.

Verdi, by stepping up warning attacks ahead of the round of negotiations in Frankfurt on April 16, was said to be reacting to the prolongation of the talks. The announcement, a day and a half before the warning strike, was aimed at ensuring that customers could prepare in time. Temporary disruptions could occur, Duscheck said.

Verdi wants to get 15.5 percent more money for some 12,000 employees of the Deutsche Bank group through a Postbank collective agreement, but at least a monthly salary increase of 600 euros. The union is also calling for the protection against dismissal to be extended until the end of 2028. Deutsche Bank wants to close up to 250 of Postbank's 550 branches until mid-2026 and also cut staff.

Only on Monday did Verdi and the German Association of Bank Employees (DBV) increase the pressure on the collective dispute and ask employees in administrative offices and call centers across the country to stop working from Tuesday to Wednesday. “Despite weeks of negotiations, the businessman is still not willing to make substantial concessions to Postbank employees,” Duscheck said.

Schlichter provides a tariff solution for air security forces

Monday, April 8, 09:17 a.m.: In German air traffic, summer flights seem increasingly calm. Strikes became significantly less likely on Monday because the Verdi union and employers accepted an arbitrator's ruling that can resolve the collective bargaining dispute between about 25,000 aviation security workers.

The agreement is still subject to approval by the respective committees. The corresponding declaration period is extended until Tuesday afternoon. However, acceptance is considered likely because the arbitration recommendation has already been unanimously accepted.

Former Bremen State Finance Minister Hans-Henning Lühr (SPD) acted as referee at the weekend behind closed doors.

In the end, salary increases occurred in three stages, between 13.1 and 15.1 percent over a period of 15 months, as reported by the BDLS business association. The collective agreement is scheduled to be in force until the end of March 2025.

The particularly contentious issue of overtime bonuses has been postponed and will be negotiated again at the end of the year. Until then, the above rules apply.

Verdi had organized several rounds of warning attacks on airports in the sensitive area. In spring, alternating with strikes at Lufthansa, a large number of flights were cancelled. Verdi had already accepted the arbitration decision of Thuringia's Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow and the former director of the employment agency Frank-Jürgen Weise for Lufthansa ground staff.

At Lufthansa, negotiations with the UFO cabin crew union have been postponed until this week. According to the information, they were constructive. UFO had also already organized a strike.

You can read more information about warning attacks on the following pages.