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Germany: Hamburg and Bremerhaven ports on full day warning strike

The German trade union Verdi aims to increase pressure on employers ahead of further wage negotiations by calling for all-day warning strikes among harbour workers in Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

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In the Port of Hamburg, “the strike began as planned with the early shift at 6.30 a.m.,” said a spokesperson for the Verdi trade union.

Verdi has announced full-day warning strikes in the port of Hamburg on Tuesday and Wednesday, covering all three shifts on both days. The union has also called for full-shift warning strikes in Bremerhaven on Tuesday (9 July) and Wednesday (10 July), starting with the second shift on Tuesday and ending with the first shift on Wednesday.

Employees at the Port of Hamburg last walked off the job at the beginning of June to emphasise their demands for higher wages.

The call for the work stoppage is explained by the fact that the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS) did not present a negotiable offer in the third round of negotiations.

“We were still far apart in the third round of negotiations. The offer presented by the employers is not acceptable to us. The employers still have to move, especially with regard to the wage increases on offer,” said Verdi negotiator Maren Ulbrich.

This Thursday (11 July) and Friday (12 July), the fourth round of collective bargaining will take place in Bremen.

There have already been strikes at the ports of Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Emden. Among other things, Verdi is demanding an increase in hourly wages of three euros with retroactive effect from 1 June 2024.