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German ports brace for further strikes on Thursday

German ports are braced for a third strike within a few weeks as a dispute over wage increases continues to threaten to paralyse container and cargo operations in the country’s major North Sea ports.

In what will be the longest strike in more than 40 years, port workers will down tools on Thursday as another warning is scheduled to last until 06.00 hrs on Saturday after the sixth round of wage negotiations between the ver.di union and the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) ended without a result.

The union, which represents around 12,000 workers, is demanding a one-year deal for a 14% increase across the 58 collective bargaining companies, including an annual bonus to compensate for inflation, while the employers are offering increases of up to 12.5% over two years.

“We need real inflation compensation so that employees in all companies are not left alone with the consequences of the galloping price increases,” said ver.di negotiator Maya Schwiegershausen-Güth.

Last month, port workers’ 24-hour strike largely paralysed operations at the ports of Hamburg, Emden, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Wilhelmshaven. 

Labor strikes and slowdowns at ports in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Asia are crippling trade and could trigger more logistical inflationary pressures in the US, where possible rail and trucker strikes could add to already growing congestion at the country’s top two ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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