German GDLTrain Drivers Union 3-Day Strike

Striking GDL members protest in Hamburg

GERMANY’S GDL train drivers’ union started a three day strike yesterday which concludes tomorrow.

The strike is an escalation of a wage dispute with rail operator Deutsche Bahn.
The union said cargo train drivers began a separate strike which started on Tuesday.
The union said in December it planned a strike that would last several days after the Christmas holiday.
In reaction, Deutsche Bahn said it would try to put a stop to the measure with an injunction through a Frankfurt labour court.
Train drivers held a 24-hour strike early last month, the last strike of the year, after negotiations between the union and Deutsche Bahn broke off at the end of November.
GDL is demanding a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 hours per week for shift workers, as well as an increase of 555 euros per month and a one-off inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros.
Tesla has declined demands for a collective agreement with the IG Metall union at its Gigafactory in Berlin, following months of discussion surrounding the company’s working conditions.
Instead, managers at the Grünheide factory have highlighted the benefits Tesla offers to its employees in a recent report in the German media rejecting the need for an outside labour agreement with the country’s largest union, IG Metall.
In response to the rejection, Labour Minister Jörg Steinbach said that he plans to keep encouraging Tesla to sign onto a collective agreement.
‘Of course it would be good if IG Metall and Tesla could agree on a collective labour agreement or at least talk about it,’ Steinbach said in a statement to the publication. ‘This would bring many advantages for both sides.’
Michaela Schmitz, Giga Berlin works council leader, also highlighted the company’s opposition to signing a collective agreements with outside trade unions, saying that the car maker doesn’t want to be subject to demands from outside parties.
Schmitz said: ‘We are close to the workforce.
‘Our agility will be lost if we are influenced from outside.’
The statements come after a months-long effort from Swedish union IF Metall to get Tesla’s German plant to sign a collective agreement after the union sent the automaker a strike notice in October.
The union later worked with Sweden’s transport agency and mail provider to withhold license plates from Tesla, though it was threatened with fines from the country after the automaker filed dual lawsuits in late November.
Meanwhile, the third day of the strike at Spanish airports has which started last Saturday caused massive disruption across Spain on Monday.
Amongst employees who are not part of the minimum service agreement, there is currently a 17.5 per cent follow-up rate on average.
The Iberia Group has planned 539 flights for today, and as of now, 80 have already been completed. The company is actively working to resolve the baggage issues that arose in Bilbao, Barcelona, and Gran Canaria on Monday, ensuring prompt delivery to customers.
Union representatives from the UGT and CCOO unions reported that on Friday, 750 pieces of luggage were left behind and not loaded onto flights, while the Iberia Group managed to transport 30,000 pieces of luggage on the same day.
Throughout the night and early hours of this morning, a significant portion of this luggage is being dispatched to its destinations either via road or alternative flights.
Iberia once again extends its apologies for any inconvenience caused by the ongoing strike organised by the unions.
The company expresses gratitude to all its customers, including passengers and airlines served by Iberia Airport Services, for their understanding and patience during this period.
As well as the baggage strike there is also an ongoing strike by security work being carried out by the Ilunion Seguridad union. The strike started on 1st January and will carry on until Sunday 14th.
The action will take place for two hours each day, from 8.45-9.45am and from 6-7pm.
Elsewhere, a nationwide strike in Italy of airport workers in the Italian Federation of Transport Workers caused travel chaos on Monday and Tuesday for passengers due to airport security staff and baggage handlers holding a walk-out for 24 hours.
The strikes will affect Milan Malpensa and Linate airports, as well as other major airports in Italy, including Rome Fiumicino and Venice Marco Polo.
The Italian flag carrier ITA Airways had already cancelled 20 domestic flights.
Employees from Airport Handling, Swissport Italy, Mle-Bcube, Ags Handling, and Aviapartner Handling will all be involved in the strikes.
But it will not be limited to Milan as delays are anticipated throughout Italy’s busiest airports.
ITA Airways confirmed that the ground service workers would be walking out for 48 hours beginning Monday, as the labour unions representing the airport workers demand improved compensation and working conditions.
The strike was initially called by union leaders representing the baggage handlers at Milan Malpensa and Linate airports.
Employees from Airport Handling, Swissport Italy, Mle-Bcube, Ags Handling, and Aviapartner Handling will all be involved in the strikes.
But it will not be limited to Milan as delays are anticipated throughout Italy’s busiest airports.
Security staff working at Rome Fiumicino Airport, Venice Marco Polo, and Venice Trevison from Triveneto Sicurezza, Adr Security, and Adr Assistance and also stopped working on Monday 8th January.
Moreover, ground staff belonging to unions Rekeep and Cft operate at Florence Airport and will also stage a walkout on January 8th.

  • The Portugal Syndicate of judicial workers began an ‘open ended strike’ against long hours on Wednesday.

An open-ended strike by ‘judicial workers’ (court staff) began yesterday, calling a halt to any work between the hours of 12-30-13.30 and after 5pm until 9am the following day.
The effective ‘work-to-rule’ means union members will be refusing what the profession terms ‘extraordinary hours’.
The reason, in the eyes of the SFJ (Syndicate of Judicial Functionaries), is that these are not ‘recognised’ as a way of ‘guaranteeing a fair retirement system’, and should be.
The union’s grievances go much further.
A statement claims court staff ‘work every day, without any conditions, with people with infectious diseases, namely when carrying out enquiries and first interrogations of detained defendants’.
It also wants ‘the opening of a negotiation process to count the time the bailiffs’ careers have been frozen, the putting out to tender of all occupied posts on a replacement/choice basis and reinforcement of bailiffs’ staffing rosters, in sufficient numbers to guarantee its normal and regular functioning and the right to holidays, under the terms of the general law’.
Last year was marked by prolonged strikes by court clerks, split between two unions: the SFJ and the Union of Judicial Officers (SOJ). 2024 thus is continuing the climate of conflict.

  • France has been forced to name a new Prime Minister after Elisabeth Borne resigned Monday following recent political tensions over immigration, and President President Emmanuel Macron’s office said he would appoint a new government in coming days.

Borne’s resignation follows the passage of contentious immigration legislation backed by Macron aimed at strengthening the government’s ability to deport some foreigners, among other measures.
Borne had been appointed in May 2022 after Macron’s re-election for a second term. She was France’s second female prime minister.
French President Emmanuel Macron has named 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as France’s new prime minister on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old education minister has been one of Emmanuel Macron’s most loyal supporters.
Prime ministers play an important role in France under the country’s constitution and are the second-highest figure after that of the president. They’re directly accountable to Parliament and control the French government day to day.