Berlin public transport strike

179 posts in this topic

The worst bit is how we'll just end up paying anyways for any wage increase as the extra cost will get passed to the customer. So we get jacked on the non-existant service right now, and we get jacked on higher fees in the future.

 

Sorry, I just don't have any sympathy for striking workers in a high unemployment environment.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is that most of us, public employees or not, are facing a ising cost of living and falling real wages.

Public employees in a union are just doing something about it.

 

Not sure when the unemployed issue comes into the argument logically.

Many of these public sector jobs barely pay more than welfare benefits anyway,

Was a Munich Airport worker in the SZ earlier in the week saying he takes home only EUR 50 more a month tha he would get in unemployment benefits.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Striking public sector workers re not asking for "lots" of money.

They are asking for a wage that is decent and enough to live on.

 

Obviously their work is valuable for society or their striking wouldn't make a difference.

 

If a tax accountant that advises the ruling class on how to rob YOU by transferring their money to Liechtenstein went on strike, it wouldn't matter to society.

A tram driver, a kindergarten worker, a hospital cleaner DO make a difference to our lives.

 

Good people. Good services. Good wages.

These nebulous platitudes don't tell us what exactly you think those striking should be making, i.e., what that "decent wage" is.

 

As for the value to society, that's your value judgement, but no one in the world can I think of a place where tax accountants make less than hospital cleaners, thus society has given its verdict. Keep in mind the preparation to become an accountant is much longer and much more strenuous, and frankly, not everyone is smart enough to be one, thus the supply of people who can do the job is much lower than those who can be a hospital cleaner, and that is bound to affect comparative salaries. Another reason why tax accountants make considerably more money than hospital cleaners is what most say is the world's most convoluted tax code. Reform it to a simpler system with moderate effective tax rates for both businesses and individual, and you will see a difference. Yet, it is much easier for some to enagage in the politics of envy...

 

As for the example of the airport worker, the other side of the coin is that unemployment benefits might be too high.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents are coming to town next Friday (I know, great timing!) and we were planning to go to Dresden by train (DB) on the 16th. I haven't bought the tickets yet...should I even bother?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When workers providing services we all rely on increasingly rely on welfare payments to top up their salary, the pay is obviously too low.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The problem is that most of us, public employees or not, are facing a ising cost of living and falling real wages.

Public employees in a union are just doing something about it.

Average pay in Germany has fallen 3% in real terms since 2005; however, since then there has been a MwSt increase (which raised the cost to the consumer of everything subject to the top MwSt rate from 16% to 19%) which can only be blamed on government, not the private businesses that employ most of us. Furthermore, the computation of a fall in real wages assumes a static basket of goods, i.e., no change whatsoever in consumer buying patterns! What happens when the price of a good rises faster than your ability to purchase it? You buy smaller quantities or you switch to less expensive substitutes. Thus, inflation may well be overstated, and real wages understated.

 

 

Many of these public sector jobs barely pay more than welfare benefits anyway,

Was a Munich Airport worker in the SZ earlier in the week saying he takes home only EUR 50 more a month tha he would get in unemployment benefits.

Exactly which job, doing what, MT? Be specific, and what exactly is each position paying?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

When workers providing services we all rely on increasingly rely on welfare payments to top up their salary, the pay is obviously too low.

Yet another nebulous, unsubstantiated statement. How much are they making (break it down by each specific job position) and how much is each receiving in welfare payments, and exactly which sort of welfare payments are they receiving that they would not receive if their salaries were, say 10% higher than they are now? If you cannot provide this information, I don't see how we can simply accept your claims at face value. If you claim to know that they are underpaid, surely you must have some quantitative idea of how much they need, in your opinion, to get paid? After all, localities have to budget for these things, you know. How much, i.e., how much more than now? How to pay for it?

 

Funny that you make Berlin public sector workers your case celebre- a couple of years ago Berlin wanted the rest of the country to help pay its bills despite the fact its public sector workers made 50% more than their counterparts in Hamburg. Surely the cost of living in the former doesn't outstrip that of the latter, least of all by 50%?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been there the other week Conq. when I posted links showing that a qualfied, experienced Kindergärtnerin could be on as little as EUR 2000 brutto.

 

Funny how those who condemn employees fighting against declining real wages alswa<s seem to be on more themselves...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You give the example of one job's salary (and it is an unskilled job that many women can be trained to do) yet you make sweeping claims about every worker? Please. That's your entire evidence? :rolleyes:

 

2000 euros a month (in most cases as a second salary in the family) starting salary for that work (which is what you claimed) is not bad. Perhaps you should find an online tax calculator, especially for Tax Cat V, and then progressively move in 100 euro increments from 1500 euros upward to 3000 euros. You'll notice diminishing returns in terms of Netto salary after taxes and social contributions are taken out. Know what that means? The government would in the case of those in Tax Cat V, be taking a majority of any pay raise out of one government account to pay that public sector Kindergärtnerin and (broadly speaking) putting in right in other government accounts (the infamous tax wedge at work). And that's not counting any MwSt on any increased purchases made by the Kindergärtnerin. Exactly how much should this Kindergärtnerin make, MT?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see the pay scales go an look for them yourself Conq.

You asked for an example, you got one. End of.

 

I've got friends who work in the public sector and their pay isn't great.

And that's after training or studying and many years experience and doing work that is socially valuble.

Real pay has been falling in Germany and here are one bunch of workers who aren't taking it lying down.

Good luck to them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, Deutsche Bahn have just announced that they will be going on strike from Monday so the S-Bahn in Berlin will be affected - I think they've said there will be some trains but what with the BVG strike and the reduced S-Bahn service, it looks like it's going to be pretty hard for most people to travel.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked for something comprehensive to back up your claims. I recall you discussing the Kinderpflerinnen and Kindergärtnerinnen, but do not recall a link. Please post it and I will give it a close look.

 

Your intent, as I understand it, MT, is noble, but does not take the big picture into account- and you stubbornly ask that a flawed benchmark be rigidly observed. There is no free lunch in economics...

 

So, what would you pay the Kindergärtnerin, MT, in order to meet your criterium?

 

As for my own situation, since you aren't my Steuerberator I don't see how you could possibly know whether or not my real wages are increasing or not. I have found TTers' knowledge of my personal situation to be badly lacking- e.g., garibaldi, for one, once deemed me an "unemployed foreign guest worker" (sounds like an oxymoron, BTW). :lol:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, MT, the simple Marxist solution. Of course, they aren't as numerous as you seem to think, and besides, I think they would decamp as much as they possibly could to more wealth-friendly locales if you started to soak them. Look how many make Monaco their official residence. Doesn't Franz Beckenbauer live just over the border in Austria?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we could learn from the American expereince there Conq.

If Herr Beckenbauer doesn't want to pay German tax, he could post his passport back to the KVR at any time. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US isn't a real Vorbild for Germany in terms of international taxation, and not just because of geographical differences. You would be surprised just how many US citizens do give up their citizenship (particularly those who were able to acquire Irish citizenship). Germany can ill-afford to lose its wealthiest, most successful, and most productive people, i.e., those with the most options elsewhere... Taxes are already high on those in the middle class. Just imagine if they had to shoulder a yet heavier burden? I think they would not be very supportive...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh the rich can stay, not a problem with it.

Just they should pay towards the society they are in.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone interested in figuring out how to get around the city rather than arguing about the politics behind the strike, here's the link to the S-Bahn emergency timetable, in effect from Monday.

http://www.s-bahn-berlin.de/aktuell/2007/3...chen_streik.htm

Most lines are running 1 S-Bahn every hour, except the S41/S42 Ring (1 every 30mins).

 

The DB has also cancelled or restricted/shortened a lot of their ICE/IC etc routes.

http://www.bahn.de/blitz/view/static/pdfli..._2008-03-10.pdf

Neither of them have put a time limit on the strike - both emergency timetables are effective from Monday 10.3.2008.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you think the "underpaid" public sector workers pay all the taxes to fund Hans Eichel's 7684 euro-a-month retirement? :lol: Keep dreaming...prefect example of the politics of envy. I support changes in the tax code (especially reducing the regressive MwSt) but you need to get real, MT.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I support the workers who are striking. Suing is ridiculous, not surprised an American brought that up but oh well.

 

I think its interesting to see how people react to situations such as this.

Too bad most people just want to complain rather than trying to come up with some solutions.

We should be pulling together and supporting the workers, rather than bickering back and forth.

 

Either way, I live about 1blk. from Hermannplatz. I have an empty room here that people are welcome to stay in during this strike time if it

helps out to not have to travel so far to and from work. There is plenty of floor space, you should bring a sleeping bag, unfortunately I just moved in

less than a week ago and there are no extra mattresses as of yet.

 

Just send me a mail and I will write you back. ;-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now