The proposed strike involving farmers, railway workers, and transporters has the potential to result in road closures and the halting of rail traffic throughout Germany. This nationwide protest may extend over multiple days, with the blocking of highways leading to significant traffic disruptions, especially at border crossings.
Strikes in Germany from January 8, 2024
Germany braces for a period of intense strikes set to commence on January 8, 2024, potentially causing significant disruptions to daily life nationwide. Farmers, rail workers, and hauliers have collectively announced plans for widespread protests.
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According to German media reports, the Train Mechanics’ Union (GDL) has indicated that rail workers may engage in a 3 to 5-day strike starting January 8. While the specifics of the strike plans are not yet final, Claus Weselsky, the head of GDL, has expressed a willingness to avert the strike if employers present satisfactory solutions to address the staff’s demands. Strong support for the strike is evident among GDL members, with up to 97% of Deutsche Bahn and Transdev employees expressing favorability towards industrial action, as reported by the German news agency dpa.
The primary demand put forth by the GDL is a reduction in the weekly working time for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours while maintaining full pay. Deutsche Bahn deems this request unacceptable. Discussions on this matter have been ongoing since November, but progress has been minimal, leading the GDL to organize warning strikes.
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German farmers’ strike
The German Farmers’ Union is set to participate in the strikes, scheduling a week-long series of protests starting January 8 to oppose the government’s proposed budget cuts. The government, led by Olaf Scholz, intends to decrease the fuel tax exemption for farmers, a measure that is facing robust opposition from the agricultural community.
Transporters strike – Possible roadblocks across Germany
Transporters and truck drivers are preparing to join the protests, advocating for exemptions from road tax, reduced fuel prices, and heightened investment in road infrastructure. The industry tension has intensified with recent hikes in truck CO2 emissions taxes.
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According to T-Online, these upcoming strikes pose potential repercussions for the daily lives of individuals in Germany’s neighboring countries. Interruptions in train services and blockades on highways leading to borders could pose significant challenges for cross-border workers and international carriers.