German union head defends right to strike at May Day rally

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The head of German industrial union IG Metall, Jörg Hofmann, has vehemently defended the rights of trade unions to strike, reported dpa.

"We will not tolerate any restriction of the right to strike: full stop, finish, period," he shouted at a May Day rally in Berlin on Monday. He rejected criticism of the consequences for citizens of airport strikes, for example, referring to the numerous nationwide strikes in Germany in recent weeks.

It is the purpose of strikes "to put economic and political pressure on people, and we alone exercise this right," Hofmann said.

The trade unions are coming out of the coronavirus years with strong momentum, said the IG Metall leader. Participation in strikes is high, he said, and people are passionately advocating for their goals. In the current collective bargaining rounds, many good results had been achieved and tens of thousands of new members had joined, he said.

"The trade union movement in Germany is getting stronger because it shows itself, because it is public, because it is also able to push through its goals confrontationally," Hofmann said.

He repeated his push for a four-day week and rejected criticism of it. Hoffmann said he was firmly convinced that full wage compensation was acceptable.

Germans have felt the impact of numerous strikes this year by public service workers and transport staff over pay and conditions.

The nationwide actions have severely affected health care, air, road and rail transport, postal and municipal cleaning services, as well as other sectors.

  •  German union
  •  Defends
  •  Strike
  •  May Day


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