The local public transport has been stopped since the early hours of the morning in more than 80 cities in Germany, due to the strike called by the trade union organization Ver.di, on the sidelines of ongoing collective negotiations with employers.

Bus, metro and tram workers in 15 of the 16 states (except Bavaria, where the collective agreement was longer and is still in force) they are demanding, among other things, increases of 2.80 euros/hour in wages, longer rest periods and more vacation days.

Workers and students today had to look for alternative means of travel, while teleworking and attending classes via the internet were exceptionally allowed.

The duration of the strikes and the demands vary from state to state, where unions negotiate with local governments. However, North Rhine-Westphalia, a state in which a third of the total 90,000 employed in the sector work, is the hardest hit. The situation is also particularly difficult in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Saarland, where the demonstrations will end at midnight. However, at least 3-4 hours are required after the end of the strike in order for media traffic to fully normalize.

The mass media strikes are supported by the climate organization “Fridays for the Future”, as the Ver.di stresses that it calls for better conditions in the sector, in order to make public transport more attractive as an alternative to the use of cars. “We as a climate movement can of course fight to ensure that transport climate targets can be met and that emissions are finally reduced. But in the end nothing can be done if we ignore the conditions under which these people work,” said activist Luisa Neubauer on German public broadcaster ARD’s first channel.

The Greens also expressed their solidarity with the strikers. “These are the everyday heroes of the climate. With their work, they ensure every day that millions of people in Germany travel in a climate-friendly and affordable way. This is why the commitment to good working conditions is important,” said the head of the party’s parliamentary group, Katarina Drege.

H Ver.di. also announced a strike for today for workers at Hamburg airport, where there have been no flights since the morning. The situation is particularly aggravated, after yesterday’s strike by airport security workers, during which thousands of flights and mainly takeoffs were cancelled.