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German public transit workers set for weeklong strike amid stalled wage negotiations


Bus drivers, seen here on strike Feb. 2, 2024 in Dortmund, are set to conduct another round of warning strikes to underline their demands for better employment conditions and more pay, United Services Union ver.di announced.

Bus drivers, seen here on strike Feb. 2, 2024 in Dortmund, are set to conduct another round of warning strikes to underline their demands for better employment conditions and more pay, United Services Union ver.di announced. (Ver.di)

United Services Union Ver.di announced a series of strikes across the German public transit system starting Monday and lasting through Saturday.

The strikes aim to improve working conditions for approximately 90,000 employees in over 130 municipal transportation companies, the union said in a statement. The walkouts are expected to affect buses, subways and trams across the country. The exception is Bavaria, the union said, where current pay agreements remain valid.

Kaiserslautern bus operators VRN and SWK did not immediately comment on the impact on buslines in the city and surrounding region.

Key union demands include reduced working hours, increased vacation entitlements, extra days off for shift and night work, and limits on split shifts and unpaid time.

β€œIn order to finally bring movement into the negotiations, pressure must now be put on employers again,” said Christine Behle, Ver.di deputy chairwoman, in a statement Thursday.

The effort is set to peak March 1, coinciding with the global climate strike day, signaling a unique alliance with Fridays for Future in advocating for better working conditions and a transformative approach to public transportation.

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