Berlin public transport strike

179 posts in this topic

I don't think staff at Berlin's airports are striking tomorrow, but there are strikes at a number of airports, too.

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Here's my thinking - crazy though it is.

 

Why don't we find a lawyer and do a class action lawsuit against all those unions that are striking - and say that they (the unions) have to refund us the cost of the tickets for each and every day they strike - AND the cost of our use of alternative transportation eg. taxis, DB, etc that we had to buy as an alternative (we have to show that there was no route to get to where we were going other than by taxi,etc.)?

 

Hell, it would work in the US (I know it's NOT the US) if we could make a significant case - and if ITALY can sue DE so that Parmesian cheese made in DE can't be named Parmesian cheese and win (including fines) then we should be able to do this...

 

After all, this inconvieniences alot more people AND causes problems for the general economy...

 

Just my thought from the edge...

 

~Rose

How would this work in the US. I have never heard of such a thing ever being done!

 

I realize it's an inconvenience. However when strikes happen, they usually happen for a reason. Hence the reason for Unions.

Are you suggesting that Unions be done away with?

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I just looked at the Deutsche Welle site, and read about the strike.

 

I am confused. They made it sound like a "warning strike" was declared. Meaning the strike hadn't yet started. Yet on here, it sounds like everything in Berlin has been shut down since Feb 1st. It is now March 4th, so I am totally lost.

 

I know strikes are an inconvenience, but they get a message to the public. "We don't get a raise, you don't ride".

 

It has been done in the States and everywhere else. Unless you live in a dictatorship where strikes are outlawed! I would be complaining to the employer, rather than the employees.

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So thats a 15mile bike ride for me on monday then!! :(

 

would be tempted to hire a car for the week, but guessing the roads will be busy so would end up taking me longer to get to work! Could also get a taxi, but would 'lose' a couple hours pay a day just to pay for that!! :(

 

So let me guess... im cycling 15miles to work on monday... itll be raining then!!! lol

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Why don't we find a lawyer and do a class action lawsuit against all those unions that are striking - and say that they (the unions) have to refund us the cost of the tickets for each and every day they strike - AND the cost of our use of alternative transportation

Becasue you don't have a leg to stand on:

 

You as a passenger have no business relationship with the union.

Your advance purchase of a ticket does buys you the right to travel on available servics, not that the services will be available.

The unions have the right to strike guaranteed by the constitution and regulated by law that is adhered to.

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I am confused. They made it sound like a "warning strike" was declared. Meaning the strike hadn't yet started. Yet on here, it sounds like everything in Berlin has been shut down since Feb 1st. It is now March 4th, so I am totally lost.

It is a warning strike--but it's still a strike that affects passengers and services. It's a warning to management to present an acceptable offer to the union during the negotiations.

It's a warning of things to come should management not do so.

 

I don't know where you got the February 1 date, however. The strike in Berlin on the BVG is March 5-March 14.

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Quick question:

 

What do you guys think of this : BVG is striking. All of us fully capable of hiking our bones to a train station, we can afford a cab, or we have a bike. This strike as inconvenient as it is for all us, we are only thinking of ourselves. How do you think this effects elderly people and people with handicaps who cannot clearly manage a long walk, or a bike ride, or afford a cab - in this weather ? Do you think the trade union who organized this strike should be found negligent if any deaths or injuries are caused by their strike, i.e, old lady dies of hypothermia because she was waiting for a bus that never came , or handicap person attempts to get to a platform that does not have access for handicap because it is the closest one etc...

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Not a leg to stand on with that argument. either ethicly or before a court of law.

True we should think of others than ourselves.

How about thinking what it's like working to provides services that millions of people rely on every day but hardly having enough money to live on.

We know the concept of working poor from the US and UK, well it's well established in Germany too.

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Hi Monks Town - I'm not asking about legalities - I'm asking about opinion. Are you an attorney ? I love your usage of "not a leg to stand on", are you sure of this ?

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I don't know if the unions should/could be found negligent in such cases, but you're right in that this affects some people more than others. I respect the fact that workers have the right to strike if their conditions are poor, but all things in moderation. A 10 day strike (and we'll see if it actually lasts that long) is absolutely insane. Not to mention the inconvenience to individuals, but the cost to businesses in Berlin is FAR greater than what the driver's are asking for. The unions AND the BVG should be held responsible for that.

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There are legal provisions in Germany that explicitly allow strikes.

I don't think there is a liability issue for ver.di, but I certainly think there is a public image issue.

I support unions, but I don't support warning strikes. Strikes should be used as a last resort measure in cases where the employer is clearly abusing the employees or a contract or bridge contract cannot be reached. In this case, the contract is still in effect, but ver.di isn't happy with the start of the negotiations.

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Being one of the 'little guys' (no- not in that way) I fully understand the feeling that senior management is taking the mickey out of employees- especially when their bonuses would probably pay for the pay rise! From what I've read the striking workers have some reasons to feel angry... but they should be angry at their union leaders and their government- change union and vote for someone else. Or- if the job is no longer suitable for them- change jobs.

 

The only people really suffering are the hard working sods on tiny wages. My girlfriend does not get paid if she doesn't work- she is an intern. And no- walking to walk is not acceptable- it would take well over two hours. People in the private sector often get a raw deal and if they tried to strike (especially in countries with weak unions) and would often lose their jobs. Many people I know get below inflation pay rises (eg. a two cent per hour pay rise- yippee). This strike is an abuse of their power... all parties need to have sensible communication and action. I agree with the above post about striking as a last resort.

 

To get to the point- this strike has made me lose sympathy for them. My previous employer shipped in cover for striking workers and told them to get stuffed- they wouldnt get anything... 10 days is enough time to get some replacements surely...

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Life got THREE PERCENT more expensive in January. THREE PERCENT. Add to that the THREE PERCENT increase in VAT two years ago and now suddenly everyone that lives paycheck to paycheck is effectively making six percent less. Management didn't want to help these people get a raise to just keep the amount they're making level. They have every right to strike. It's always the union's fault but no one ever looks at the greedy douchebag managers - of course not, because the managers fight to ensure their salaries remain secret. You can't whine about what you don't know about.

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There's only one treatment for people like you, tar and feathers!

 

 

Here's my thinking - crazy though it is.

 

Why don't we find a lawyer and do a class action lawsuit against all those unions that are striking - and say that they (the unions) have to refund us the cost of the tickets for each and every day they strike - AND the cost of our use of alternative transportation eg. taxis, DB, etc that we had to buy as an alternative (we have to show that there was no route to get to where we were going other than by taxi,etc.)?

 

Hell, it would work in the US (I know it's NOT the US) if we could make a significant case - and if ITALY can sue DE so that Parmesian cheese made in DE can't be named Parmesian cheese and win (including fines) then we should be able to do this...

 

After all, this inconvieniences alot more people AND causes problems for the general economy...

 

Just my thought from the edge...

 

~Rose

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Monkstown - yes, I think most present-day unions have NO place.

 

Yes, I think that we should have a right to sue the Union.

 

In some places (namely the US) , Unions such as police, fire, safety/security and public transportation have NO ability to go on strike. Seriously. This is because they are public services, and the general public cannot go without them. It endangers peoples lives and livlihoods - especially that of the elderly and poor.

 

Yes, there are many people who can afford a taxi, have a bike, or have alternative transport. Sorry, folks. I'm not one of them. If I don't show up at my job, I don't get paid. That's the majority of the world.

 

I do feel that perhaps the "raises" these folks got is unfair. However, i also look at it with an overview perspective. I didn't get but a 2.5% raise this year. With the raise in Sales tax, a raise in the price of the buses, a raise in rent, gas, phone, etc etc etc - I'm actually making significantly LESS this year than ever. However, if that's the case, then the entire general public should go on strike too.

 

By their going on strike, they are going to result in additional pay hike to the bus/train/transport system, which will be translated to the general public, which will also affect me - and not just for the 10 days that I'm lacking in transportation methods (subsequently resulting in me having to ride my bike in a snowstorm like today - which could subsequently potentially allowing me to catch pneumonia - which could subsequently result in further problems because of missed work and/or if they're still on strike - me not being able to make it to the doctor... etc etc etc.)

 

This sort of strike is irresponsible, lacking in good judgement, and I'm sorry, but does NOT have my support.

 

I'm with you, Hireed - I think that strikes are used as last resorts only after contract negotiations have come to a complete halt. In addition, I think that strikes related to any thing used for general public (meaning police, fire, public transport) should be disallowed due to safety and security concerns.

 

But then, I'm American - and in the US, garbage workers can go on strike - but police, fire department, ambulence service, (and in major cities where most people don't have cars - subway, bus etc. ) Cannot. Should they do so, then they're all (union officials and participants) able to be prosecuted for public endangerment (and also subject to a class action lawsuit from those endangered) - and can be thrown in jail if there is a court order saying that the strike MUST halt immediately. How do I know this? I used to dispatch 911. When we wanted to strike with the FOP police union, the courts presented us with an injunction - and we were told we would be unable to do so.

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But then, I'm American - and in the US, garbage workers can go on strike - but police, fire department, ambulence service, (and in major cities where most people don't have cars - subway, bus etc. ) Cannot.

Where the heck did you get the idea that public transport in the U.S. can't go on strike? I could name a half dozen cities right off the bat that have striked in recent history, even including New York, where there is actually a law preventing it (the "Taylor law", which the Transport Workers Union decided to ignore two years ago).

 

Not saying I support or am against it. Just pointing out that it happens there as well.

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Welcome to Capitalism folks. Sorry, but have you looked at the US top executive CEOs v/s worker salaries?

 

The richest people get paid more and more and are the richest now than at any other time, while those in "middle income" are barely making inflation. I'm not saying it's right, but that's what's going on.

 

I am a firm advocate of taxing those at the top more - but it seems like that's not what governments today wish to do.

 

I just think that instead of going on strike and forcing those of us on the "middle income" just like they are to face the pain of having to pay more, they should be bitching to the government to change the tax structure to work for the low people instead of the high paid. After all, it's not the high paid CEO's that are feeling the penalty (they have cars, and can afford private doctors and so on...)

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