New round of negotiations – Bahn-KV: last attempt to avert warning strike


A new round of wage negotiations for about 50,000 railway workers will begin in Vienna on Saturday afternoon. Whether the course will still move in the direction of agreement and thus the cancellation of the 24-hour strike announced for Monday remained open until the end. The fronts were further hardened and the ideas for a conclusion of the KV negotiations for about 65 companies such as ÖBB or Westbahn were far apart. Strike preparations are in full swing.

In the run-up, both sides accused each other of irresponsible behavior. Yet they try again with conversations. The employee representatives of the trade union vida demand 400 euros more on all collective agreements and real wages for the railway workers. However, the requested 400 euros is far too much for the employer representatives of the Chamber of Commerce (WKO). That would be an average of about twelve percent and thus clearly exceed the current other degrees for metalworkers or civil servants.

Salaries below the poverty line
Workers’ representatives are calling for low starting wages and salaries, some of which are below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. They originally asked for 500 euros, but the employers had already met 20 percent, emphasizes Gerhard Tauchner, the employees’ chief negotiator.

When asked what would be needed to avert the warning strike, Tauchner said: “The Chamber of Commerce needs to understand that what we have asked for is necessary so that the railway workers can continue to live a decent life.” further about possible leeway: “There is leeway in the design of the result, of course a small part can be done via the ‘cost allowance’ offered”. He alluded to a one-off payment of 1,000 euros offered by the employer. The most important part of a deal should be the increase in KV and actual salaries, Tauchner confirmed. One-off payments have so far been rejected by the individual ÖGB sub-unions in the current fall wage round. Such are “unsustainable”.

“Not Very Confident”
“If you look at the latest rulings, I have little confidence that it will be possible to avert this strike,” said chief employer negotiator Thomas Scheiber shortly before the negotiations started. You also want to go “solution-oriented” in the conversations. However, the pressure built up isn’t helping, Scheiber said of the impending warning strike: “Forced talks tend to get in the way of solutions.”

The required EUR 400 is too high for the employer representatives. Nevertheless, they say they still offer the best offer of the previous autumn wage round. “We offer an average of eight percent,” explains Scheiber. “Everyone should receive plus 7.5 percent or at least 200 euros. That fits in with the signal from the union that the lower salary scales must rise faster.” The companies are also prepared to pay a one-off 1,000 euros to all employees in December as an “inflation bonus”. “That would not lead to a full compensation of inflation in the higher regions, but to an increase of up to 13 percent in the lower salary classes,” says Scheiber. “None of the collective agreements that have been concluded so far this year come close to what we offer.”

Sunday evening it is already threatening to fail
If there is a strike, all train traffic in Austria will come to a standstill on Monday, ÖBB warned. They asked passengers to postpone non-essential travel. From Sunday evening or until Tuesday morning there may be disruptions on the Nightjet and EuroNight connections. In the event of a strike, the railways will publish details of restrictions, delays or cancellations on, the ÖBB social media channels and in the SCOTTY timetable information service. According to Scheiber, all railway companies try to inform travelers as well as possible and to replace tickets or keep them valid.

Source: Krone


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