Germany’s transport staff are set to begin the largest strikes in decades on Monday, which will severely disrupt mass transport and airports.
According to Reuters, the industrial action is a result of soaring inflation, which has hit Germany particularly hard due to its dependence on Russia for gas before the war in Ukraine.
The strikes, scheduled to begin just after midnight and affect services throughout Monday, come after months of industrial action across major European economies due to higher food and energy prices that have led to a decline in living standards.
The European Central Bank has been trying to curb the stubborn cost pressures caused by higher inflation through a series of interest-rate increases.
Despite these efforts, German consumer prices rose more than anticipated in February, up 9.3% from a year earlier, leading to a painful adjustment for millions of workers throughout the country.
Both sides, union bosses and management, are not budging, with union bosses stating that considerable pay hikes are a “matter of survival” for thousands of workers, while management called the demands and resulting strike “completely excessive.”
The head of the Verdi labour union, Frank Werneke, said “It is a matter of survival for many thousands of employees to get a considerable pay rise.”
Meanwhile, in France also, there have been protests and strikes since January due to the government’s attempt to raise the state pension age by two years to 64.
However, officials in Germany have made it clear that the current strikes is majorly because of pay.