Workers stage strikes across Europe amid rising cost of living

Airline workers strike in Germany, Spain; railway workers in the Netherlands demand wage hike

Anadolu Agency staff  | 25.08.2022 - Update : 26.08.2022
Workers stage strikes across Europe amid rising cost of living UK’s largest port faces week-long strike


Workers in many countries of Europe have launched strikes to protest against inflation and the rising cost of living.

Russia's war in Ukraine has exacerbated the cost of living crisis as the EU member countries, which are heavily dependent on Russia in the field of energy, have implemented seven sanctions packages against the Moscow administration.

However, the embargoes have dragged not only Russia but also Europe into a serious economic bottleneck.

Inflation hit a record high across Europe with governments failing to hike salaries in some countries.

Many unions strike in UK

Labor unions in different sectors have taken collective strike decisions in recent weeks as their purchasing power erodes in the face of rising inflation.

Alongside the dispute over pay raises, workers are also demanding improvement in working conditions and pension rights.

Those who quit their jobs include subway workers, bus drivers and Uber drivers, teachers, dockers, lawyers, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, aviation and postal service workers.

Some 1,900 workers are striking in Felixstowe, a port in Edinburgh which is an important waterway of the UK for freight transport.

Criminal lawyers, who went on strike last month, decided to strike again for the next month. Criminal lawyers will walk out indefinitely in England and Wales from Sept. 5.

Workers in postal service and telecommunication sector in the UK will also hold a work stoppage in the coming days. Health workers in Scotland will also launch a strike in the coming days.

Strike in Germany costing €35M

Despite the holiday period in Germany on July 27, after the Ver.di union calling, ground personnel at the Lufthansa company went on a warning strike demanding an increase in wages. Munich and Frankfurt airports, one of the country's most important airports, were blocked due to the strike.

Over 1,000 flights were canceled due to the strike, and that situation affected 134,000 passengers. After the strike, which cost about €35 million, the employer was able to reach an agreement with the Ver.di union.

However, collective bargaining between Eurowings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and the Cockpit Union, the pilots' union, have stalled.

In a statement, the Cockpit Union said that the collective bargaining were stalled, urging its members to vote to determine whether they supported the union's path in the negotiations. As a result of the voting, the union will be able to decide to strike.

Spanish airline workers on strike

The strikes in aviation sector in Spain since the beginning of August have a negative impact on both the passengers and the country's tourism.

Many flights were canceled and hundreds of flights were delayed due to the strikes initiated by Ryanair and Easyjet airlines workers. Iberia Express airline staff will participate in the strike this weekend.

The cabin crew of the Irish airline Ryanair in Spain have been striking on weekdays since Aug. 8, after the failure to reach an agreement in the collective bargaining.

Flight attendants at Ryanair in Spain had said that they would continue their strike until Jan. 7, 2023 if their demands were not met.

The pilots of the Swiss-based Easyjet airline have also been on strike only on weekends since Aug.12 to restore their salaries to pre-pandemic levels.

Dutch railway workers on strike

Dutch Railways workers decided to strike after their demands for an increase in salaries were rejected.

The 24-hour strike, which started in the northern region of the country at the call of the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation and other unions, will continue in various parts of the country until Aug. 31.

The unions are demanding an increase of €100 in their monthly salary and a one-time payment of €600.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Istanbul

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