UPDATE: Already over 1800 signatures. Due to the massive response, we cannot list every signature on this page. However, every voice still counts in the fight for the right to strike!
Number of signatures: 1874 (as of 18.07.2022, 4:31 pm).
Port strike: Against any restriction of the right to strike!
The port workers from Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Wilhelmshaven went on strike for 48 hours on Thursday, July 14. It is the longest strike in 40 years. The Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS) has ignored the demands put up by the trade union ver.di in the past six rounds of negotiations. They demand an inflation compensation of currently about 7.8 percent, a salary increase of 1.20 euros per hour and further supplements depending on the operational range for one year.
Even after the first warning strikes, the president of the employers‘ association, Rainer Dulger, demanded that the work stoppages in the ports, which displeased him, be banned by declaring a „national state of emergency“. The logistics companies HHLA and Eurogate sued against the strike call. Although the labor court in Hamburg approved the 48-hour strike, it expressed doubts about the formal legality of the strike call. Following a settlement between the plaintiffs and ver.di, there will be a peace obligation until August 26.
As ver.di and all other trade unions, we cannot give in to corporate pressure and agree to restrict the possibilities to take action on our own behalf. Hamburg’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Michael Westhagemann, is calling for an arbitration process that would abruptly end the strike from above. Numerous obstacles are being placed in the way of the port strike in order to break the will of the workers.
However, the fact of employers trying to break strikes with legal actions is not an isolated case. In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), for example, municipal employers‘ associations recently tried to have the hospital strike banned by the courts, just as they had previously done in Berlin by suing the hospital movement.
Despite the restriction of the right to strike, thousands of dockworkers gathered in Hamburg to strike for their demands. A colleague at Eurogate Hamburg said in this regard, „We are taking to the streets because the right to strike has been broken.“ Police violence and arrests occurred during the protests. The police beat the dockers and used pepper spray against them.
Especially in times of high inflation, it is necessary for unions to be able to strike to maintain workers‘ living standards. We therefore oppose any restrictions on the right to strike, whether through legal or police measures. We demand:
- the abolition of the obligation to keep the peace!
- no forced arbitration! Let the workers themselves decide about their strike!
- for the unrestricted right to strike for all labor disputes!
- no police measures against the strike.
Solidarity with the port strikes!