Leaders of shipping unions have expressed their solidarity with Germany's 12,000 dock workers for their recent strike.
The German subsidiary of the International Transport Workers' Federation, ver.di, is pushing for an annual, automatic inflation adjustment to be built into a renewed collective agreement with 58 ports and terminals.
Head of ver.di’s Maritime Section, Maya Schwiegershausen-Güth: “Rising prices for essential living expenses such as energy and food have become an unsustainable burden on German workers, especially for those lower paid workers.” She added that the employers, represented by the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS), have so far rejected the principle of inflation protection in talks with the union.
“These port companies plan to leave their staff alone to deal with the consequences of rising prices. They are willing to see dockers’ wages go backward, eaten away by inflation. We cannot accept this, especially after all that dock workers have done for the employers and the common good,” she pointed out.
ITF Dockers' Section vice-chair Niek Stam said ITF and ETF dockers’ unions representing more than 500,000 workers were united in their support for ver.di as it sought a higher pay deal.