Dockers’ strike hits cargo handling at German ports
BERLIN — Dockworkers at German North Sea ports went on strike Friday in the latest of several walkouts that have added pressure on shipping as their union demands a steep pay rise to counter high inflation.
The 48-hour strike, which is due to end on Saturday morning, has largely paralyzed cargo handling at major ports including Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven, the dpa news agency reported. It follows a 24-hour walkout in June and a previous warning strike by a team.
However, there will be no further strikes until the end of August under an agreement reached at the Hamburg labor court on Thursday evening, the court heard. The agreement calls on both sides to set three additional dates for negotiations until August 26. Courts in several cities have rejected employers’ offers for injunctions ending this week’s strike.
So far, seven rounds of negotiations have yielded no results. The ver.di union has demanded a one-year deal that would include a raise of 1.20 euro (dollars) per hour for around 12,000 employees in Hamburg, Bremen and the state of Lower Saxony, plus a raise of 7 .4% to balance inflation.
The dispute comes as shipping has already been disrupted by a variety of issues, including coronavirus restrictions in China.