German Transport Workers Strike

On Monday, March 27, German workers from EVG, the nation’s largest railway and transport workers union, and Verdi, an umbrella union of many transport and other public sector workers, staged a 24-hour strike demanding pay increases to meet the burdens of massive price inflation in the German economy. The strike paralyzed transportation nationwide, turning airports, train stations and bus terminals into deserted shells.

In total, the two unions, EVG and Verdi, represent nearly 2.8 million workers, and in current negotiations are demanding pay increases of 12% and 10.5%, respectively. That is just above Germany’s 9.3% inflation rate, which has continued to rise as tensions with Russia affect energy prices. If inflation continues to rise, it will rapidly eat up even those significant pay increases. One union leader warned that their demands were a “matter of survival” for many workers. One striker said, “[T]he big ones benefit and the small ones, who keep everything running, get nothing. People have second or third jobs to make ends meet.”

While the strike was only for one day, and was promoted as a warning by union leaders of what might happen if business leaders and the government do not make a real attempt to meet their demands, it is a sign of the power working people have.

We do the work. We make society run. We don’t need the boss! The boss needs us!