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Updated: 18.12.2012 16:09

Struggles and Strikes

Struggles and Strikes in Germany. For comments and suggestions please contact: redaktion@labournet.de

English-Text only = English-Text only German-Text only = German-Text only German/English Text mixed = German/English Text mixed

updated = updated external Link = external Link pdf-File = pdf-File Audio-File = Audio-File Video-File = Video-File

DRAMA IN BAYREUTH: Strike Threatens Wagner Festival new

"A pay dispute is threatening to bring the curtain down on this year's annual Wagner opera festival in Bayreuth before it has even begun. While it's the performers who receive the standing ovation at the end of the show, no theater production would be possible without the work of the backstage crew. This is a lesson being learnt all too late by organisers of the Bayreuth Festival, whose 60 stagehands and lighting engineers and 100 freelance workers have gone on strike over pay. .." Article at Spiegel-Online from 07/14/2009 external Link English-Text only

FIRED OVER 1.30 EUROS: Supermarket Cashier Becomes German Anti-Capitalist Hero new

“Barbara E. was fired for allegedly stealing 1.30 euros. Now, the German media has transformed a 50-year-old supermarket cashier into a national hero. Even senior German politicians have voiced their solidarity. In these times of economic crisis, even such a measly sum as €1.30 ($1.66) can turn a supermarket cashier into a national hero -- and may ultimately cost a leading German politician his job. ..”Article at Spiegel-Online from 02/26/2009 external Link English-Text only

German Opel Workers Fear for Jobs amid GM Crisis

“Uncertainty looms large at the Opel car factory in Bochum. The future of thousands of jobs hangs in the balance as struggling parent company General Motors seeks to slash costs. But for the workers at the Bochum plant, uncertainty is nothing new…Article by Karsten Stumm at Spiegel-Online from 02/19/2009 external Link English-Text only

STRIKE WAVE AVOIDED: German Metalworkers Negotiate 4.2 Percent Wage Increase

“German metalworkers union IG Metall had threatened a crippling wave of strikes, but after marathon talks it accepted a pay deal. Employers agreed to give them around half of their wage hike demands. After a 22-hour marathon session, negotiators from IG Metall, Germany's largest labor union, and Gesamtmetall, an employers' association representing over 23,000 enterprises, finally reached a deal on Wednesday in the southern German town of Sindlingen, just outside Stuttgart…Article at Spiegel-Online from11/12/2008 external Link English-Text only

TURMOIL AT CAR GIANT: 40,000 VW Workers Protest Against EU

"Employees at Volkswagen staged their biggest ever demonstration on Friday with tens of thousands protesting against EU plans to scrap the so-called "VW law" which gives the company state protection..." Article at Spiegel-Online from 09/12/2008 external Link English-Text only

PAY DISPUTE: Warning Strikes Spread in German Engineering Sector

"German engineering union IG Metall is upping the pressure in its pay dispute with employers. The union said that 30,000 workers downed tools briefly on Monday at firms including Volkswagen and Siemens. It is demanding an 8 percent pay increase..." Article at Spiegel-Online from 11/03/2008 external Link English-Text only

GROUNDED IN THE FUTURE? Lufthansa Flight Crew Votes to Strike

"Flight attendants working for Germany's largest airline voted Monday to go on strike. The UFO union is still negotiating with Lufthansa, but the door has been opened for a disruptive cabin crew walkout..." Article at Spiegel-Online from 03/09/2009 external Link English-Text only

Closure of the profitable Nokia Bochum location remains a scandal - Even a good social plan cannot compensate for the loss of jobs. new

New Press Release and more at the homepage of IG-Metall external Link English-Text only

Staff of occupied bicycle factory in the Thuringian Nordhausen take up production in self-management again. Now they proudly presents: The "Strike Bike" - Solidarity-Bikes from Nordhausen

The The 135 colleagues of the bicycle factory Bike Systems GmbH in the Thuringian Nordhausen, who keep the factory occupied since 10th of July 2007, decided to resume the production of bicycles in self-management. For this aim 1,800 binding orders on bicycles must be received till 2nd of October. So the collegues are working together with the anarcho-syndicalist union FAU (Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union - Free Workers-Union), which formed for this campaign the internetpage www.strike-bike.de external Link German/English Text mixed. Since more than two month the staff keep the factory in the south of Harz Mountains in three shifts occupied. They want to prevent the definite dismantling and sale of the factory. The file for bankruptcy from 10th of august is against long odds: The factory is exploited and ran down, the hall was emptied except for the coating line. The staff receives unemployment compensation and hopes for a new concept and a new investor. In the time of occupation and in the wake of discussions during the visits of solidary people, the colleagues of the factory developed the idea to initially take up the production in self-management for a short time. Because it's not the point to only prevent the evacuation of the last machines and to wait for a new investor, the idea of an own "Strike-Bike" meet with more and more response. Now the opportunity arises to show the ability to develop an own concept and to self-manage production and distribution. If it goes well to collect 1,800 advance orders for the bicycles produced in self-direction, we spread solidary ideas and bolster the colleagues in similar situations, not to let themselves easily being restructured to zero. By whomsoever! More Informations and the complete press-release can be received at: http://www.strike-bike.de/1/index.php?&hl=en_US English-Text only external Link.
For background informations and history of the occupation (only in German language): www.labournet.de/branchen/sonstige/fahrzeug/bikesystems.html German-Text only
Further backgrounds and the history of the conflict in English you can find in the article "The story so far - an obvious lie! English-Text only" by anarcho-syndicalist union FAU (Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union - Free Workers-Union)

To get in contact with the staff and to take orders
»Bikes in Nordhausen e.V.«
c/o. André Kegel,
Bruno-Kunze-Str. 39
99734 Nordhausen
Telefon: 03631 - 622 124 and 03631 - 403 591
Fax: 03631 - 622 170
eMail: fahrradwerk@gmx.de

German Train Conductors Set for Biggest Strike in 15 Years

The German train drivers' union GDL voted to begin its biggest strike since 1992, it announced Monday. Starting Wednesday, millions of passengers throughout the country could be left stranded. Article based on news reports on Deutsche-Welle externer Link English-Text only from 06.08.2007

German Railroad Workers Stage 'Warning Strike' in Fight for Pay Hikes

"German rail workers staged "warning strikes"-limited work stoppages-July 2-4, bringing Germany's massive rail network virtually to a halt. Three rail unions covering 134,000 members are seeking significant wage increases from Deutsche Bahn, the profitable state-run rail operator, which is heavily used by both commuters and travelers in central Europe ." Article from Ben Weinthal at Labour Notes externer Link English-Text only, July 2007-07-31

German train drivers threaten new strikes

"Locomotive drivers in Germany have threatened more disruptions as German railways continued talks with two other trade unions on a new pay deal. The GDL union said drivers would stage a three-hour stoppage beginning at 8am on Tuesday to press demands for a separate contract and a 31 per cent pay hike for Deutsche Bahn's 20,000 train drivers. The strike threat came as the bigger Transnet and GDBA unions were set to resume talks on a new pay offer for their 134,000 members. Three days of strikes last week caused widespread disruption to train services in Europe 's biggest rail network." Deutsche-Welle news from 09.07.2007 externer Link English-Text only

Deutsche Bahn reaches a deal - Unions Win 4.5 Percent Wage Hike

"After a marathon session of negotiations, Deutsche Bahn has reached a deal with two of its trade unions on a 4.5 percent pay rise for its workers. But another union is sticking to its demands for a 31 percent hike and threatening more strikes on Tuesday." Article in Der Spiegel from 09.07.2007 externer Link English-Text only

German labor mixed on Chrysler: Solidarity vs. self-interest

"Earlier this month, a German labor official sent a mass e-mail to Chrysler union members in the United States and Canada. His message: German union workers oppose the sale of Chrysler and stand ready to fight side-by-side with their U.S. counterparts to defend jobs. "Strike is the strongest weapon we have. Only by fighting together can we defend our jobs," wrote Volker Kraft, a shop council member at DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes operation in Untertürkheim, Germany. "Our solidarity belongs to you, the workers and employees of Chrysler and your struggle for your jobs.".." Article by Josee Valcourt in the The Detroit News from 16.04.2007 externer Link English-Text only

Warning strikes throughout Germany against DT's restructuring plans

“Some 8,000 employees of Deutsche Telekom have according to statements made by the United Services Union ver.di taken part in warning strikes this morning. Throughout the Federal Republic employees would be demonstrating against the planned hiving off of 50,000 Deutsche Telekom staff, the chairman of ver.di's national executive board Lothar Schröder said on Thursday in Bonn. "The employees' anger and indignation are considerable. They fear that they will be made to pay the bill for years of mismanagement," Mr. Schröder stated. On Thursday and Friday Deutsche Telekom and ver.di intend to continue their talks on the planned hiving off of Deutsche Telekom staff to newly-created companies collectively known as T-Service…” Article by Robert W. Smith at Heise-Online from 10.04.2007 externer Link English-Text only

Crack in union solidarity appears over Chrysler -
Germany wild card as North American unions oppose sale

"A trans Atlantic rift over the future of the Chrysler Group appears to be developing, pitting the company's North American labour groups against a powerful German union.
DaimlerChrysler AG's two unions in North America, the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Auto Workers, are voicing their opposition to the breakup of the company ahead of the company's annual shareholders meeting next week. But it's unclear if the German IG Metall union wants the same thing...
" Article by Nicolas Van Praet in Financial Post external Link English-Text only, published on March 27, 2007

Airbus: Thousands March to Save Jobs

Airbus workers across Europe put down their tools and picked up picket signs on Friday to protest the company's restructuring plan. The plane maker wants to shed 10,000 jobs. Thousands of Airbus workers across Europe downed tools today to protest against plans by the European plane maker to cut 10,000 jobs and close or spin-off six of its 16 plants. Article at Spiegel-Online from March 16, 2007 externer Link English-Text only

Wal-Mart workers in Germany face mass unemployment as Metro wants to close stores

"Over 2,000 workers face unemployment and insecurity if Metro goes ahead with its plans to close a large number of the Wal-Mart stores which the German commerce giant bought last year. Hundreds of them will gather today outside the Metro Group headquarters in Düsseldorf, to defend their employment. In Germany, the group employs some 140,000 workers in its retail and wholesale store chains. These include the Metro Cash & Carry wholesale hypermarkets, the Real and Extra hyper- and supermarkets, the Kaufhof department stores and the MediaMarkt - Saturn electronics superstores..." Labour news from UNI global union from 21,02.2007 externer Link English-Text only. See also:

The Struggle of GM-workers at Opel Bochum

"I think the main problem is, from my experience having worked for 30 years in Opel in Bochum, that we cannot put our hope in the ´union´ as they haven’t organized us at a European or worldwide level to fight against the power of the multinationals.
I will start with the struggle we had in October, in Opel in Bochum. I won’t tell you all the history, but will start with a GM press release of Opel from 14 October 2004: ‘General Motors Europe today announced its intention to reduce its annual structural costs by an estimated 500 million euros by 2006. The plan calls for a reduction of the workforce by up to 12.000 over the next 2 years with over 90% in 2005. The company will immediately begin consultations and negotiations with the employees’ representatives of the plant. “GM Europe has undergone significant change and restructuring in the last 3 years with the support of both our workers and the respective works councils”, said Henderson, Chairman of General Motors Europe, ”We anticipate working constructively with the work councils to arrive at a creative solution to our current challenge”.’..." Contribution by Wolfgang Schaumberg English-Text only (union activist from Opel, Germany) at the Netherland Social Forum, Amsterdam, 27.11.2004

German Site

At the LabourNet Germany you can find more Informations about struggles & strikes under these items:

Branchen German-Text only [different branches]

Diskussion > Gewerkschaften German-Text only[Discussion > Unions]

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