BERLIN, Jan. 7 () –
The president of the Association of German Civil Servants (DBB), Ulrich Silberbach, has threatened major work stoppages before collective bargaining for federal and municipal government employees due to communication difficulties with employers.
“As I interpret the situation at the moment, we are not going to stay in the usual warning strikes,” Silberbach warned in statements to the ‘Rheinische Post’.
“If they continue to slow down in this way, and even consider coming to us with demands, I am not going to rule out the call for general strikes. Then we will see how uncomfortable everything is going to be,” he warned.
On January 24, the DBB and the main union Verdi will start collective negotiations for some 2.5 million federal and municipal employees. The unions demand 10.5 percent more income, at least 500 euros more per month.
The Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA) had rejected the demands as “unaffordable”.
“We are going to get into a lot of conflicts simply because employers are falling into the old grievance patterns,” Silberbach said. “They have not yet understood that they have to do something for the workers in the crisis,” he added.
For the president of the DBB, the cap imposed by the Government on energy prices, to help Germans weather massive inflation, “is not enough, far from it.”
In the last round of collective bargaining for the civil service of the federal government and local authorities in 2020, hospitals, nurseries, local transport and savings banks were among those affected by strikes and protests.
However, the strikes were comparatively subdued at the time, which was partly attributed to coronavirus precautions.