At the ports of northern Germany – dock workers are on strike: now there is even more chaos in freight traffic

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Several dockers went on a warning strike at the start of the morning shift in Germany’s major ports on Thursday. According to Union Verdi, Hamburg, Emden, Bremerhaven, Bremen, Brecht and Wilhelmshaven are affected. In view of the standstill of 24-hour work, the port workers want to increase the pressure on employers in the wage dispute. In Hamburg, the warning strike is to be accompanied by a demonstration (at 9 a.m.) that will lead from the headquarters of the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) to the trade union building.

Observers expect significant effects on the operation of container and cargo ships. During the first warning strike three weeks earlier, which lasted only a few hours, the loading and unloading of ships came to a standstill and the already tense situation was exacerbated by several delays. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, more than two percent of the global freight volume is now stuck in traffic in the North Sea due to Corona. In the German Bight alone, 15 container ships were waiting in Hamburg or Bremerhaven to be cleared.

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Despite four rounds of talks, Verdi and the top union have not yet reached an agreement. For around 12,000 employees in 58 collective bargaining companies in Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Bremen, the union is demanding an hourly wage increase of 1.20 euros and an annual flat rate of 1,200 euros for the 12-month collective bargaining period. Full container company. In addition, Verdi calls for an unspecified “actual inflation compensation”.

In an allegedly “final” offer, ZDS offers an hourly wage increase of 1.20 euros for 18 months of the tariff period – 90 cents in the car cover – and agrees to an increase in allowances of 1200 euros. To compensate for inflation, a one-off payment of 1000 euros must be made for full container companies and 500 euros for traditional companies.

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