German Employers' Association calls for curtailing workers' right to strike

German Employers' Association calls for curtailing workers' right to strike

In recent weeks, staff working on public transport, in Kitas, refuse collection, hospitals and more, have been striking for higher wages that are in line with inflation. Now, the German Employers’ Association (BDA) is reacting to worker walkouts by calling for curbs on the right to strike in Germany.

German Employers’ Association wants to limit strike rights

Almost a week after staff at seven German airports staged a warning strike, Germany’s Association of Employers is suggesting that circumstances under which industrial action is legally allowed in Germany should be further restricted.

“This walkout reiterates that our industrial action law is becoming increasingly unpredictable,” BDA director Steffen Kampeter told broadcaster RND. “Legal regulations for industrial action are therefore overdue. A law that makes it clear that industrial action should remain an exception can also be a contribution to strengthening collective bargaining,” Kampeter claimed.

Kampeter said that the airport staff strike last week caused huge and expensive disruption, leaving 300.000 passengers grounded. “Especially in this geopolitically and economically complicated situation, the balance must be maintained,” the director added.

Supported by ver.di, Germany’s largest trade union, workers taking part in the strike on February 17 were demanding, and continue to demand, a pay increase in line with the rising cost of food and energy.

VKA calls ver.di demands unconstructive

Germany’s Union of Employers Federations (VKA) has criticised the demands being made by ver.di on behalf of the 25.000 workers who took part in last week’s strikes. “According to their principle: If you don’t give me what I demand, then we will strike until there is nothing more. That is not a basis for negotiation,” said federation president Karin Welge.

On the other side, representatives of Germany’s national trade union centre dbb are poking employers to “finally come up with constructive ideas and offers”. 

Representing airport staff, ver.di is in its third round of negotiations with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies. Demands include at least 1 euro more pay per hour, equal pay for equal work and an alignment of wages in former East and West Germany.

According to a statement by ver.di representative Wolfgang Pieper, the most recent offer made by FASAG included a 10 cents addition to hourly wages for workers in eastern Germany - at which rate equality between wages in the former East and West would not be met for at least another 22 years.

Thumb image credit: gerd-harder /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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