BVG strike: Subways, trams and buses are not leaving Berlin on Friday

Tarfi negotiations stall
:Verdi announces BVG warning strikes on Friday

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  • Peter Neumann

    Peter Neumann

The union Verdi has announced a warning strike by the BVG staff for Friday (archive picture).

The union Verdi has announced a warning strike by the BVG staff for Friday (archive picture).

Photo:

dpa / Stephanie Pilick

Berlin –

Passengers of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) have to look for other means of transport for the coming Friday. The union Verdi has called its members at the national enterprise and its subsidiary Berlin transport (BT) for the 15. February on a warning strike. From early morning until 12 o’clock in the morning, all areas will be hit – both subways, trams and buses. “It is therefore to be reckoned with considerable obstacles in the local traffic of the capital,” said Verdi on Monday. The trains of the S-Bahn and the regional traffic are not stripped because they are operated by other companies.

Future BVG collective agreement for more than 14,500 employees

On Monday, trade unionists and the Municipal Employers’ Association (KAV) Berlin met for the second time to discuss the future collective bargaining agreement for the more than 14,500 employees. Also this round remained after two and a half hours without result, so the union. “Both sides could not come much closer in the two-and-a-half-hour talks. The employers have not submitted an offer, especially in the trade union demand for a reduction in working hours with full pay compensation, there is no recognizable concession, “it said in a statement.

History of the BVG strikes:No subway goes anymore

Full, as rare: The Berlin S-Bahn is still struggling with a shortage of staff (archive picture).

Full, as rare: The Berlin S-Bahn is still struggling with a shortage of staff (archive picture).

This Saturday is a strike: The warning strike of the BVG employees puts the bus, subway and tram traffic in Berlin lame. Passengers have to change to the S-Bahn or taxi or walk (archive picture).

This Saturday is a strike: The warning strike of the BVG employees puts the bus, subway and tram traffic in Berlin lame. Passengers have to change to the S-Bahn or taxi or walk (archive picture).

On this Saturday, the employees of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) entered a 15-hour strike at 4:00 am (archive picture).

On this Saturday, the employees of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) entered a 15-hour strike at 4:00 am (archive picture).

The BVG employees demand higher wages.

The BVG employees demand higher wages. “We deliberately chose Saturday for the first strike action in order to minimize the impact on passengers,” said the union Verdi (archive image).

During the raid, all passengers must use suburban and regional trains that do not belong to the state-owned SNB (stock photo).

During the raid, all passengers must use suburban and regional trains that do not belong to the state-owned SNB (stock photo).

There is a scoreboard at the Zoologischer Garten bus station with information about the warning strike of the 5,000 BVG employees (archive image).

There is a scoreboard at the Zoologischer Garten bus station with information about the warning strike of the 5,000 BVG employees (archive image).


“Our patience is exhausted,” Verdi explained. The collective bargaining committee had also rejected on Wednesday the recent offer of the local employers’ association (KAV) for the 12,500 employees as insufficient. Some striking workers now sit in a bus and hope for wage increase and an inflation compensation (archive picture).

The fact that the first warning strike on Saturday lasted 15 hours, met with strong criticism (archive picture).

The fact that the first warning strike on Saturday lasted 15 hours, met with strong criticism (archive picture).

“No offer – employers wall”: This is the title of the tariff information that Verdi published on Monday. “Unfortunately, we have not made a step forward.”

“The ideas of the collective bargaining parties are currently far apart,” said the KAV CEO Claudia Pfeiffer. Among other things, Verdi calls for the weekly working hours for employees who have come to BVG after 2005 to be reduced from 39 to 36.5 hours – with full pay compensation. That means a staff increase of around 500 employees, says Pfeiffer. The number of employees at BVG and BT is expected to grow by about 1350 anyway. “This is simply not feasible for the employer,” said the negotiator on the employers’ side.

Bonus of 500 euros for union members

Negotiations also focus on improved grouping, Christmas bonuses also for employees recently admitted to the BVG and a bonus of 500 euros for union members. Verdi had expected the employer side to submit a negotiable offer. “On the other hand, we have received a catalog of demands from the employers’ side regarding the pay scale, which is an attack on collective bargaining security systems.” The employers apparently also had no interest in upgrading working conditions in local traffic, the tariff information states. “All in all, this negotiation was a ‘zero round’. To enforce the legitimate demands, a warning strike is necessary.

During the work stoppage on Friday takes place around 9 clock in front of the BVG headquarters in the Holzmarktstrae in Berlin-Mitte, a central rally, in which Verdi expects at least 3000 participants.

On March 5, the negotiations should continue. Employers want to use them to improve the pay scale, working conditions and flexible working hours, employers said. “Despite differing positions, we are confident that we will take a decisive step further,” said KAV boss Claudia Pfeiffer.