Vestas workers enter 100th day of strike

HAMBURG (dpa-AFX) – In the conflict between IG Metall and the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas (Vestas Wind Systems AS) over a collective agreement, which has been smoldering for around a year, the employees are going into their 100th day of strike this Saturday. Then the service employees of the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, who are distributed throughout Germany, will join together in a digital strike assembly, as on the other strike days, as IG Metall announced. The strike began on November 7 last year, was interrupted for negotiations and resumed in mid-May.

“Striking for 100 days is exhausting,” said Daniel Friedrich, district head of IG Metall Coast. But it’s worth it. This also shows the great solidarity from the whole republic and also from the Danish trade union DanskMetall. The managing director of IG Metall Rendsburg, Martin Bitter, emphasized: “100 days of strike – that actually has historic proportions.”

“They won’t get us out of the strike with bonuses for strike-breaking. Anyone who believes that is wrong,” said Vestas works council member and member of the collective bargaining committee Elmar Schneid. At the same time, he referred to good solutions and collective agreements, for example at the Siemens Energy subsidiary (Siemens Energy) Gamesa, Omexon and OWS Offshore Wind Service.

According to IG Metall, Vestas employees will visit the SPD’s Seeheimer circle, the Berlin network and the SPD’s 21st Democratic Left Forum in Berlin on Tuesday to get more backing for their demands. They also wanted to stop by the parliamentary group Die Linke.

Vestas had long blocked negotiations on an in-house wage agreement because the company originally only wanted to talk to the works council about pay issues. IG Metall then launched a labor dispute last summer. First there were shorter warning strikes, after a ballot, since November there have also been strikes lasting several days. According to Vestas, the largest German union represents only a minority of the workforce.

According to IG Metall, around 1,700 people work at Vestas Germany, 700 of them as fitters. The trade union has been complaining for a long time that many suppliers, such as machine builders, are subject to the collective bargaining agreement for the metal and electrical industry. In the case of manufacturers and in the service sector, however, the wind industry has so far largely refused to accept binding tariff rules./klm/DP/zb

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