Germany's Largest Strike in Decades Disrupts Transportation Systems

Germany's Largest Strike in Decades Disrupts Transportation Systems
@DB AG / Volker Emersleben

Millions of commuters and travellers were affected by Germany's biggest strike in decades as airports and transport systems across the country shut down on Monday.

DB wrote on its website this morning that although today's strike by EVG has brought rail services to an almost complete standstill, the situation at stations is calm. Customers have followed DB's advice to postpone their journeys today, the largest German railway company said.

Flights have been suspended at two of the country's biggest airports, Munich and Frankfurt, while rail services have been cancelled by Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator, Reuters published.

However, this strike was not the only issue affecting people in Germany. According to the daily Stuttgarter Zeitung, the capital of Baden-Württemberg was also paralysed by climate activists from the Last Generation movement, who disrupted traffic on the main roads. Traffic in Stuttgart, as in the rest of Germany, is much heavier on Monday due to a massive public transport strike.

The Verdi and EVG unions called the 24-hour strike to demand better working conditions and higher pay for their public transport and aviation workers. The strike is part of months of industrial action that has hit major European economies over rising food and energy prices. Verdi is negotiating on behalf of around 2.5 million public sector workers, including those in public transport and airports, while the EVG union represents around 230,000 employees of Deutsche Bahn and bus companies.

The industrial action was described by Verdi leader Frank Werneke as a matter of survival for millions of workers. German consumer prices rose more than expected in February, up 9.3% on the year, as cost pressures persisted despite the European Central Bank's efforts to control them by raising interest rates. Employers warned that higher wages for transport workers would lead to higher fares and taxes to make up the difference, and EVG leader Martin Burkert warned of more warning strikes over the upcoming Easter holidays.

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