Warning strikes in the collective bargaining dispute in the public sector have paralyzed local public transport in many places. Several cities in the Rhineland and in the Ruhr area as well as Augsburg are affected.

“All KVB buses and trains are at a standstill,” said a spokesman for the Verdi union, referring to the Cologne transport company. “The strike is going smoothly,” said Verdi in Düsseldorf. According to the Rheinbahn, the entire network is affected there, i.e. the cities of Düsseldorf and Meerbusch, the Mettmann district and the connections to Duisburg, Krefeld, Neuss and Ratingen. The strikes also started as planned in Essen and Oberhausen, said a Verdi spokeswoman in Essen. The warning strike is to be continued in North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday.

In Augsburg, too, local transport largely came to a standstill. In the morning, only a few trams and buses were running, as a spokesman for Stadtwerke Augsburg said.

In the collective bargaining dispute, Verdi is demanding 10.5 percent more wages for the 2.5 million federal and local employees nationwide, but at least 500 euros more per month. Employers are gradually offering five percent more for a two-year term and a one-off payment of 2,500 euros. The third round of negotiations is scheduled for the end of March.