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Verdi and Hochbahn Hamburg start collective bargaining talks

The Verdi union starts on Monday with a wage demand of 600 euros more per month in the collective bargaining round for the 6,000 employees of the Hamburger Hochbahn.

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Verdi and Hochbahn Hamburg start collective bargaining talks

The Verdi union starts on Monday with a wage demand of 600 euros more per month in the collective bargaining round for the 6,000 employees of the Hamburger Hochbahn. "In the current economic situation, in which many do not already know how to pay their bills, a spreadsheet increase has absolute priority for everyone," said Joachim Rimek, spokesman for the Verdi collective bargaining committee at Hochbahn. According to the ideas of the union, the collective agreement should have a term of twelve months. In addition, trainees are to receive an additional 258 euros per month and a free professional ticket for local public transport.

"Without the Hochbahn employees, there can be no mobility turnaround," said Verdi negotiator Irene Hatzidimou. It is not enough to invest only in buses, trains and infrastructure for the mobility turnaround. "The employees also need a wage that is enough to live in a city like Hamburg." Union secretary Magdalene Waldeck emphasized that Hochbahn must become an attractive employer again. "Even now, the Hochbahn has to thin out the timetables because there are more than 100 bus drivers missing." Entire lines would be outsourced to fill the homemade staff shortages. "That's not a solution," emphasized Waldeck.

Hamburg's DGB boss Tanja Chawla has meanwhile announced "tough rounds of collective bargaining" in view of the high inflation. "We expect a clear concession from employers, also in the public sector right at the beginning of the year," said the 48-year-old of WELT AM SONNTAG. If Hamburg's finance senator Andreas Dressel (SPD) only factored in 1.5 percent for tariff increases in the budget, it "didn't even elicit a weary smile". That needs to be improved. "We hope for realistic numbers, the inflation adjustment must be covered."

Despite rising wages, the bottom line is that real wages will drop by 4.7 percent in 2022. “At the moment, the colleagues have less money in their wallets. We need to find a balance quickly so that we can maintain purchasing power," said Chawla. The companies would have to do their part in overcoming the crisis, which is why the unions will “self-confidently negotiate new collective agreements for eleven million employees nationwide” in the new year. At the same time, she criticized the fact that many companies had used the general price increases to expand their own profits.

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