Court prohibits industrial action: Verdi may not strike the Elbe tunnel

Court prohibits labor dispute
Verdi must not strike the Elbe tunnel

Trains, buses and planes across Germany are said to be at a standstill from midnight. The operating staff of the Hamburg Elbe Tunnel also want to support the labor dispute – but are not allowed to, as the Hamburg Higher Labor Court decides.

The Verdi union is not allowed to go on strike in the Elbe tunnel on Monday. The Hamburg Regional Labor Court decided on Sunday that the union had to submit an emergency service agreement that would allow normal operation of the tunnel, said Verdi representative Domenico Perroni, who is responsible for Autobahn GmbH. If so many more warning strikes hadn’t been planned at the same time, the court would have ruled differently, he explains. The decision is no longer contestable.

The A7 is one of the busiest autobahns in Germany. Around 120,000 vehicles pass through the Elbe Tunnel every day. The previous instance, the Hamburg Labor Court, had still rejected the injunction demanded by the federal Autobahn GmbH on Saturday.

The chamber explained that the negative effects of a possible closure of the Elbe tunnel presented by the employers were not sufficiently concrete, comprehensible and compelling. The fact that disordered conditions also arise is not unusual for a strike, it said. Autobahn GmbH, on the other hand, lodged an immediate complaint.

Warning strike from midnight

Trains, buses and planes are to stand still throughout Germany this Monday. A comprehensive traffic warning strike begins at midnight. The strikes are likely to cause extensive disruptions and congestion across the transport sector and are expected to last 24 hours. On the rails, long-distance traffic will be completely discontinued and regional traffic will largely be discontinued. Almost all German airports are on strike, but not Berlin Airport. Waterways and ports as well as the motorway company are also affected.

Full streets are also to be expected because local public transport is to be on strike in seven federal states and many people are also likely to switch to cars. Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and large parts of Bavaria are affected.

Third round of negotiations

With the warning strikes, the Verdi union and the railway and transport union (EVG) want to increase the pressure in their current collective bargaining rounds. Under tense circumstances, Verdi and the civil servants’ association dbb will meet the municipalities and the federal government again on Monday in Potsdam. This is where the third round of negotiations for 2.5 million workers begins. Both sides are still far from each other, but an agreement in the days that follow cannot be ruled out.

At the EVG, further negotiations with the various railway companies are pending from the middle of the week. Negotiations with Deutsche Bahn should only continue after Easter.

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