Bows, trains, air and ship traffic were largely at a standstill on Monday. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic, Verdi and the railway and transport union went on strike together on the same day. The feared chaos did not materialize for the time being.
„The big strike day: Fair or a threat to the economy?” the moderator asked Louis Klamroth on Monday evening at “hart aber fair” the politicians Gitta Connemann (CDU) and Janine Wissler (Linke), the journalist Anja Kohl, the entrepreneur Marie-Christine Ostermann and the works councilwoman Julia Riemer. In one-on-one talks, he interviewed ARD legal expert Frank Brautigam and Lieferando driver Fabian Schmitz.
She was relieved that the “very bad scenario” did not occur, said Ostermann, who is a member of the FDP. The strike was nevertheless “completely disproportionate”. Especially after the pandemic stresses, the economy and her company in particular “finally need movement”, as she said. “We’re talking about the heroes of the Corona crisis,” Wissler argued. The employers’ side presented them with a “wage cut,” she claimed, which is why the unions’ demands were “completely justified.”
In addition, the left-wing politician emphasized that it was a warning strike – not an indefinite strike. Even the conceptual definition caused a controversy in the group. It was not just a warning strike, said Gitta Connemann, because the following applies: “Show your weapons, but don’t use them.” The work stoppage “the weapon” was used.
Anja Kohl felt compelled to point out that the strike was legal. Groom made a legal classification. It is legal to strike for goals that can be regulated in a collective agreement. However, the hurdles for an illegal strike – for example for political reasons – are “very high”. The qualified lawyer described the idea of legally restricting the right to strike as “politically very sensitive territory”.
“The right to strike is a crown jewel,” says the ARD journalist
CDU MP Connemann nevertheless ventured into the said terrain. “No one wants to abolish strikes – not even me,” she clarified in advance. She called for a notice period for critical infrastructure, ensuring an emergency service and a binding arbitration procedure. “Hands off the right to strike,” Janine Wissler countered demonstratively. There was also both an announcement and an emergency service.
ARD journalist Anja Kohl even eulogized the “established right to strike”, which she praised as the “crown jewel” of society. She dismissed the debate as a “fog discussion”.
There is no political majority for a change anyway. There is a risk of “distribution battles” because the cake is not getting any bigger, Kohl explained. In real terms, workers have lost income in recent years.
It is now a question of “securing income and minimizing losses in prosperity”, especially since a “decade of inflation” could be imminent. Both the transformation in the energy sector and the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to “supply bottlenecks”, which in turn have escalated inflation.
The central banks have also “failed”, criticized the ARD moderator. First they raised interest rates too late, then “aggressively”. Now a “bank quake” followed by overwhelmed financial institutions.
Kohl and Ostermann both stressed the lack of staff as a growing problem. Works councilor Riemer supported this statement with numbers. By 2030, public transport would be short of 110,000 drivers. Only decent pay can remedy this shortage of skilled workers: “We need appreciation for the work we do.”
The tram driver took the opportunity to advertise her work. “An incredibly beautiful job,” she praised, “very varied”. Your company also provides company apartments in high-priced Munich. Nevertheless, salaries have to rise: “It’s no longer enough to stand on the balcony and gossip.”