HAMBURG (dpa-AFX) - Seaport workers in several northern German ports have continued their warning strike. "We are continuing as we started. Container handling is standing still," said André Kretschmar, the Verdi department head responsible for the maritime industry, to the German Press Agency. In the morning, port workers in Hamburg also emphasized their demands with a rally at the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS).

Ports in Lower Saxony and Bremen also affected

The union said it was expecting around 2,000 participants. A demonstration march was planned afterwards. The employees went on a warning strike on Tuesday morning; ports in Lower Saxony and Bremen are also affected. The fourth round of negotiations in the wage dispute is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Bremen.

The Port of Hamburg has recently suffered setbacks. Last year, the handling of seaborne goods fell by 4.7 percent compared to 2022 to 114.3 million tons - the lowest figure since 2009.

Warning strikes also began around a month ago

The ZDS called on the union to maintain a sense of proportion: "In light of the constructive rounds of negotiations to date and the fair offer presented, the ZDS believes that there is currently no reason for warning strikes that would impair the reliability of German seaports."

Verdi is demanding, among other things, an increase in hourly wages of three euros retroactively to June 1 as well as a corresponding increase in shift allowances for the employees for a term of the collective agreement of twelve months. The ZDS recently offered a wage increase of 2.9 percent as of June 1, but at least 80 cents more per hour. The shift premiums are to increase by 33 cents to 3.50 euros.

Verdi: high participation in warning strikes in Lower Saxony

Employees in Lower Saxony have also increased the pressure on the employers. According to a union spokesperson, employees in Emden have been on strike since 6.00 a.m. this morning. The warning strike there is set to last until this evening (22:00). There will also be a strike in Bremerhaven, where the measures are also to continue until this evening. In Wilhelmshaven, the warning strike will reportedly end on Thursday morning. The union is expecting a high level of participation.

Warning strikes had already taken place in mid-June in several northern German ports, including Hamburg, Brake and Emden. Port workers also went on strike at the central entrances and exits to the terminals in Bremerhaven at the time, with only emergency staff on duty./mni/DP/tih