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Germany: Bank employees rally in Berlin as union 'warning strikes' kick off03:47

Germany: Bank employees rally in Berlin as union 'warning strikes' kick off

Germany, Berlin
September 28, 2021 at 16:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

Bank employees went on a 'warning strike' on Tuesday in Berlin, following the Verdi union's call to take action as they see no progress in the nationwide collective bargaining process.

Employees from the Berliner Sparkasse, the Landesbank, the Commerzbank, the Deutsche Bank and BKS Bank among others held a rally at Brandenburger Tor supported by Verdi representatives including Verdi union secretary Sebastian Orthmann.

“The employees are calling for a 4.5 percent wage increase and a collective bargaining agreement for the services that they have previously performed in corona times with everything concerning digital and remote work," said Orthmann at the rally.

Among the union's demands, which is currently negotiating separately for public and private banks, are better and more flexible working conditions. A major point of the negotiations is the remote work, with Verdi seeking to ensure that employees can work from home up to 60 percent of their working hours.

In speeches, employees accused the banks of having forgotten the effort their staff was putting in during the corona pandemic. “You kept the show running during the corona pandemic. You! You were there for the customer at the locations or on the phone. You helped in financial emergencies,” said bank employee Christina, addressing the rally attendees that were holding signs reading ‘fair sharing of digitalization profits’ and ‘inflation eats my salary’.

The last negotiation talks took place on September 22 and 24 leading to no agreement between the parties.

Germany: Bank employees rally in Berlin as union 'warning strikes' kick off03:47
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Bank employees went on a 'warning strike' on Tuesday in Berlin, following the Verdi union's call to take action as they see no progress in the nationwide collective bargaining process.

Employees from the Berliner Sparkasse, the Landesbank, the Commerzbank, the Deutsche Bank and BKS Bank among others held a rally at Brandenburger Tor supported by Verdi representatives including Verdi union secretary Sebastian Orthmann.

“The employees are calling for a 4.5 percent wage increase and a collective bargaining agreement for the services that they have previously performed in corona times with everything concerning digital and remote work," said Orthmann at the rally.

Among the union's demands, which is currently negotiating separately for public and private banks, are better and more flexible working conditions. A major point of the negotiations is the remote work, with Verdi seeking to ensure that employees can work from home up to 60 percent of their working hours.

In speeches, employees accused the banks of having forgotten the effort their staff was putting in during the corona pandemic. “You kept the show running during the corona pandemic. You! You were there for the customer at the locations or on the phone. You helped in financial emergencies,” said bank employee Christina, addressing the rally attendees that were holding signs reading ‘fair sharing of digitalization profits’ and ‘inflation eats my salary’.

The last negotiation talks took place on September 22 and 24 leading to no agreement between the parties.