A wave of strikes by public sector employees has taken place in Hamburg in recent days.



The employees demanded higher wages and better working conditions during the strikes, which were organized by the yellow unions. They marched through the various districts of Hamburg on several days, loudly voicing their demands. Not only teachers and educators, district office employees and administrative staff, school janitors, building cleaners and lock masters were on the streets, but also student employees took part and demanded payment according to the public sector pay scale.

Especially in times of overproduction crisis as part of the general crisis of imperialism, this struggle of the employees of the city of Hamburg is inevitably necessary. That the mass layoffs are yet to come is clear. Already the wages of those employed in the public sector are being cut.

In leaflets and with banners, the Kollektiv Rotes Hamburg put forward the demand for a militant union, which, unlike the yellow unions, does not engage in lazy compromises, but consistently asserts the interests of the workers. Many of the strikers welcomed this demand and want a union that actually fights for their interests. Many no longer want to be fobbed off by the "social partnership" deals of the labor buyers so that only "social peace" is maintained.

This strike wave was unleashed last week after the workers' demands fell on deaf ears during the current collective bargaining in the public sector. After the second round of collective bargaining without "rapprochement" of the labor buyers, about 400 employees of schools and district offices took to the streets in Wandsbek on November 08. On November 09, employees of the State Office for Roads, Bridges and Waterways and the Authority for the Environment and Energy were also represented in Harburg, bringing around 500 employees onto the streets. On November 10, around 500 people also went on strike in Altona. In addition to demands for 5% higher wages, guaranteed employment for trainees and longer collective bargaining periods, the school janitors, for example, demanded equal pay for all in their occupational group, regardless of district or workload.

Through the district Hamburg north moved on 11 November, the last day of the strike week, over 500 coworkers of the schools, the district offices, the building cleaning. Along the demo route through Barmbek a banner was placed, which also attracted attention in the ranks of the yellow unionists.


Streik Nov21 Hamburg Barmbek


Shortly thereafter, on November 16, there was another strike demonstration: the student employees, who still do not receive a collectively agreed wage, marched through the city center together with the university employees and the school janitors. Especially the block of students was militant, purple smoke was supposed to underline their demands. Here, too, a banner was put up from the demonstration procession with the demand for a militant union.


Streik Nov21 Hamburg Dammtor


On November 18, public sector employees once again took to the streets. All occupational groups marched together through Altona, with the teachers' group being the most strongly represented. Approximately 1000 employees took part in the strike this time, also here a banner of the Kollektiv Rotes Hamburg appeared at the intermediate rally at Sternschanze.


Streik Nov21 Hamburg Schanze3


Many of the people in the various parts of the city who were not directly affected by the wage negotiations showed solidarity with the strikers, and some students were pleased that "finally something is happening again" at the university.

Already at the end of October, shortly before the second round of collective bargaining, there was a big strike kick-off in Hamburg, where, according to Bullen, up to 1700 people took part in the demonstration through the city center.

Across Hamburg, around 70,000 employees are affected by the current negotiations. Employees in what are actually "secure" jobs in the public sector are also out on the streets en masse, showing that they don't want to carry on as before. They know that in the midst of a global economic crisis, the state is also cutting their salaries, and every day, despite increased risk of contagion and "home schooling", they have to keep this city running. There is nothing left but to fight for our rights, without lazy compromises that are later sold to us as "success". The next strike is announced for November 24.