Munich – Schoolchildren and commuters faced significant challenges on Friday morning in Bavaria: Because of a warning strike called for by the Verdi union, buses and trains in many cities did not run at all or only in emergency mode.
The hardest hit was Bavaria’s second largest city, Nuremberg. There buses as well as trams and underground trains were completely at a standstill, as the transport company VGN announced. “This time we have no emergency network,” said a VGN spokeswoman.
In Munich bus drivers in particular stopped working. According to a spokesman for the Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG), there were no or very few buses on lines 52, 100, 151, 196 and 199. “Schoolchildren in particular have to evade,” said the MVG spokesman. U-Bahns, trams and S-Bahn trains ran normally, but were often very full because passengers had switched from buses.
Warning strikes, some of which were significant, also took place in other cities, including Augsburg, Erlangen, Fürth, Bamberg, Regensburg and Ingolstadt. Several hospitals were affected by work stoppages the day before, including one of the largest municipal hospitals in Germany with the Nuremberg Clinic. Numerous operations there had been postponed.
The actions in the public service are controversial in public. Many people are of the opinion that the temporary work stoppages with the resulting partially overcrowded buses and trains are irresponsible, especially in times of increasing corona case numbers. Others argue that bus drivers, for example, run high health risks in Corona times and therefore have a right to better pay.
►Bus drivers from private employers currently work in Bavaria for less than 13 euros per hour, as Verdi negotiator Silke Vorpahl explained. In contrast, employees of public employers are primarily concerned with better working conditions, such as longer breaks.
Despite the existing driver shortage and the call of politics for more school buses and a change in traffic, the employers’ association LBO refuses to negotiate any wages. “The employers’ association provokes an unnecessary conflict with such behavior. Now is the time to appreciate the important work of the bus drivers during the pandemic, ”emphasized Vorpahl.
Verdi and the Beamtenbund dbb are demanding 4.8 percent more money, at least 150 euros, for the nationwide 2.3 million collective bargaining employees of the federal government and municipalities. In mid-September, the second round of negotiations remained without result. In addition, Verdi is demanding a significant wage increase of 3.50 euros per hour for bus drivers in private companies.
The unions indicated that there could be further action in the next few days. “We want to keep the pressure on until the third round of negotiations on October 22nd / 23rd, to give employers the opportunity to reflect on their previous refusal,” said Verdi Bayern’s wage coordinator for the public sector, Peter Hoffmann.
Local transport in the cities of Coburg, Aschaffenburg and Würzburg were not hit on Friday. In Coburg and Aschaffenburg there have already been daily defaults in the past, in Würzburg separate tariff conditions apply.