German unions call for widespread transport strike on Monday

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German unions are calling on thousands of workers across the country’s transport system to stage a one-day strike on Monday that is expected to bring widespread disruption to planes, trains and local transit.

The Verdi service workers’ union and the EVG union, which represents many railway workers, announced the 24-hour walkout in a joint appearance on Thursday that come as employees in many sectors have been seeking raises to combat inflation.

These will include security and ground workers at all German airports, except Berlin.

Verdi is engaged in a series of pay negotiations, it is seeking a 10.5% pay raise. Employers have offered a total of 5% in two stages plus one-time payments of €2,500. EVG is seeking a raise of 12%. Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s main railway operator, also has offered a two-stage raise totaling 5% plus one-time payments.

Germany’s annual inflation rate in February was 8.7%.  

It marks the latest in strikes and protests that have hit major European economies as higher food and energy prices knocked incomes and living standards following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.