Unions call for rally in May

“Unbreakable solidarity”: With this slogan, the unions are calling for a rally for Labor Day. They continue to charge higher wages and see new challenges.

In times of rising prices, warning strikes and tough collective bargaining, unions are calling for rallies and demonstrations across Germany on May 1. This year’s motto of the umbrella organization DGB is “uninterrupted solidarity”. DGB said:

The world is in perpetual crisis mode: the energy crisis, the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine, high inflation and the effects of the corona epidemic create uncertainty and drive many people into existential anxieties.

DGB’s notice

DGB said, “We unions are on their side.” DGB chairman Yasmin Fahimi will speak at the main event in Cologne at noon. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is expected to attend a rally at Deutsches Eck in Koblenz.

Verdi sees strike successes: ‘Substantial wage increases’ achieved

United Services Syndicate Verdi highlights the role of successful collective bargaining policy in securing real wages. “After three years of real wage losses caused by the corona pandemic and high inflation, employees are demanding that their jobs be evaluated and their wages subject to strong wage increases,” Verdi chairman Frank Werneke said in a preliminary announcement.

The union boss also pointed to “significant wage increases” in the private energy industry, bank service companies, for example at Deutsche Post.

Such successes were made possible only by the participation of enormous numbers of workers in demonstrations and warning strikes.

Frank Werneke, CEO of Verdi

IG Metall boss: More investment in qualifications

Jörg Hofmann, president of IG Metall, also pressed for more investment in employee qualifications.

Ecological and digital transformation requires new, sometimes different qualifications from those acquired in the learned profession.

IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann

That’s why it’s important to encourage a change of lane in professional life with offers for time, money and a second training course. Therefore, according to Hofmann, issues of qualification and secondary vocational education should not be questioned by the debt brake or even placed under an austerity order.

Climate change and the energy transition, the move away from fossil raw materials in industrial production, education, poverty reduction and wage and labor market policy will likely be topics of discussion.

Pre-May 1 demonstrations in Berlin

May 1 is again this year an occasion not only for union rallies, but also for numerous demonstrations of the left and local right scene. According to the police’s own statements, 6,300 police officers are on duty in Berlin alone.

In previous years, there had been violence and attacks on the police both in the capital and in Hamburg. In Berlin-Mitte, rebels destroyed numerous cars and windowpanes on Saturday night.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has warned against peaceful forms of protest until May 1. The SPD politician told the German Press Agency in Berlin:

May 1 stands for social justice and social cohesion.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser

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