European Workers Issues

On eve of referendum

Rumbles of military coup as Greek workers demand end to EU austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2015

Statements by retired military officers calling for a “yes” vote in Sunday’s Greek referendum carry the implied threat of a coup.

German train drivers’ union agrees to strike ban effective until 2020

By Dietmar Henning, 4 July 2015

Hidden within a new agreement with Deutsche Bahn, the GDL has agreed to a “binding arbitration settlement”—in effect, a strike ban—for the life of the contract.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 3 July 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: IG Metall union suppresses opposition at ThyssenKrupp

By Dietmar Henning, 1 July 2015

IG Metall at Thyssen Krupp is trying to stifle all opposition and erect a sophisticated system aimed at policing workers at the factory.

Syriza’s fraudulent capital controls

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2015

Billions of euros have been taken out of Greece by wealthy individuals and corporations in order to make a financial killing if the country goes back to the drachma.

UK unions abandon strike threat at Tata Steel

By Danny Richardson, 29 June 2015

A spokesman for Tata Steel indicated that the company believes it has made gains at workers’ expense.

Ver.di seeks to impose sellout of German childcare workers strike

By Marianne Arens, 27 June 2015

Many workers who had placed great hopes in the strike are incensed over Ver.di’s behaviour.

German child care strike delegates rebuff union president

By Marianne Arens, 26 June 2015

The arbitration proposal brought by the ver.di leadership to end the month-long child care workers strike would amount to a freeze in real wages for 240,000 workers.

Dortmund: Steelworkers protest against plant closure

By Philipp Frisch, 26 June 2015

Workers denounced management and demanded strike action at a workplace meeting at the Hoesch sheet steel works (HSP) earlier this month.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 26 June 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Striking Berlin hospital workers denounce austerity, staffing cuts

By our correspondents, 25 June 2015

Several hundred nurses and care workers gathered at the Ministry of Health on the second day of the strike at Berlin’s Charité Hospital, Europe’s largest health facility.

The role of Ver.di and the Left Party in the Berlin health workers strike

By Markus Salzmann and Ulrich Rippert, 24 June 2015

The precondition for a successful struggle at Berlin’s Charité is a break with Ver.di and its workplace organization.

Ukrainians testify to a life of poverty and violence under US-backed government

By Jason Melanovski, 22 June 2015

The WSWS recently spoke with Ukrainian workers and students on the current state of social and economic conditions under the right-wing regime of Petro Poroshenko.

Nurses strike at Berlin Charité clinic in Germany

By Ute Reissner, 22 June 2015

Nurses and other caregivers at the largest university hospital in Europe are walking out against understaffing and the sacrifice of patient care for profit.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 19 June 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 12 June 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Mass layoffs in French nuclear energy industry threaten 6,000 jobs worldwide

By Anthony Torres, 10 June 2015

Electricité de France, which is acquiring nuclear energy firm Areva and threatening mass layoffs, is sitting on cash reserves of tens of billions of euros.

Germany: The reactionary politics of IG Metall and the works council at Siemens

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 10 June 2015

IG Metall has responded to the announcement of layoffs at Siemens by calling for increasing the company’s competitiveness at the expense of the workforce.

Spanish telecom workers strike against “precariousness and slave labour”

By Vicky Short, 30 May 2015

The Telefónica-Movistar workers’ struggle has received widespread support, but the bankrupt perspective of the unions is endangering the strike.

Spanish telecom strikers: “We have to resist until we achieve something”

By Carlos Hernández, 30 May 2015

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to striking Spanish Telefónica-Movistar technicians and installers.

Works council elections at Germany’s ThyssenKrupp: What way forward?

By Dietmar Henning, 28 May 2015

The problems confronting ThyssenKrupp workers in Duisburg cannot be resolved on the basis of a trade unionist strategy.

UK rail unions call off strike action

By Michael Barnes, 23 May 2015

The unions have betrayed a large strike mandate and disarmed rail-workers in the face of a ferocious assault by the incoming Conservative government.

German train drivers’ union calls off strike and agrees to arbitration

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 May 2015

The strike was called off Thursday, the day before the Bundestag takes up the contentious “contract unity” bill, which would essentially ban strikes by smaller unions in an industry.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 15 May 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Nationwide strike by child care workers in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 14 May 2015

Striking workers in child care and social services confront not only their employers, but also the trade unions.

Siemens announces massive job cuts worldwide

By Dietmar Henning, 12 May 2015

The new job cuts were agreed upon between the trade union, works council and management.

Stress and speedup in German GM-Opel plants

By Marianne Arens, 27 April 2015

The IG Metall trade union is collaborating with management to pressure workers to increase output at GM-Opel factories.

German train drivers strike for seventh time in a year

By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2015

Deutsche Bahn management is delaying talks with German train drivers’ union (GDL) until the enforcement of a new law that will effectively outlaw strike action.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 24 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers at Germany’s Postbank begin indefinite strike

By Gustav Kemper, 23 April 2015

As part of its gradual takeover of Postbank, Deutsche Bank has carried out a radical cost-cutting program, including outsourcing and wage cuts.

More layoffs as global oil price slump continues

By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015

The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 17 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German postal workers strike against outsourcing of jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 13 April 2015

While the trade union was forced to call a short-term strike, it is involved at the highest level in the restructuring of Deutsche Post and associated attacks on working conditions.

Tata ends British Steel pension scheme

By Danny Richardson, 10 April 2015

The Indian steel giant stands to save around £1 billion by ending the defined benefit pensions it inherited from the once state-owned British steelmaker

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 10 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: Speculation mounts over Thyssen Krupp plan to outsource steel production

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 7 April 2015

Speculation is growing at Germany’s largest technology firm that Thyssen Krupp may be preparing to separate from its steel production division, affecting some 26,000 jobs.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 3 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German public service contract: Teachers sold out once again

By Dietmar Henning, 1 April 2015

Anger is running high among trade union members over the latest deal.

Strike by Lufthansa pilots continues

By Philipp Frisch and Ulrich Rippert, 21 March 2015

Management wants to force the pilots to submit and make an example of them in order to push through worse conditions for the other 110,000 staff.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 13 March 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Tens of thousands of auto supply jobs under threat in Germany

By Jan Peters, 12 March 2015

As global auto production falls, the pressure exercised by auto manufacturers on small and medium-sized suppliers to cut costs is increasing continuously.

German teachers and pre-school workers stage protest strike

By our reporter, 10 March 2015

There is deep mistrust among teachers of the trade union leadership, which two years ago abandoned the central demand of equal pay for equal work.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 6 March 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Dozens killed in fatal methane blast at east Ukraine coal mine

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2015

The deaths at the Zasyadko mine underscore yet again the bloody price that workers living in the former Soviet Union are paying for the restoration of capitalism.

Syriza’s parliamentary group supports Greek austerity agreement

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2015

The vote comes amidst a developing crisis within Syriza’s ranks over the implications of the party’s repudiation of its election manifesto.

German trade union approves 1,400 layoffs at Karstadt department store

By Dietmar Henning, 27 February 2015

The job and wage cuts at the German department store are proceeding with the full support of the United Services Union (Verdi) and the joint works council.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 27 February 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: Further strike action imminent at Deutsche Bahn

By Dietmar Henning, 21 February 2015

A strike called by the German train drivers’ union would be the seventh strike in the ongoing contract dispute between the railway and the train drivers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 20 February 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Right-wing nationalists regain Croatian presidency

By Paul Mitchell, 19 February 2015

Croatia's unemployment rate is among the highest in Europe, and nearly half of the country's youth are without jobs.

Siemens unveils another round of job cuts in Germany and worldwide

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 14 February 2015

The German electronics firm is cutting 7,800 jobs globally, 3,300 of them in Germany, with the collaboration of the IG Metall trade union.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 13 February 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 6 February 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Russian central bank cuts interest rate amid growing economic chaos

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2015

The rate cut is a sign of the deepening crisis of Russia’s economy resulting from the economic, diplomatic and military offensive led by Washington.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 30 January 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German corporations call for new forms of workplace exploitation

By Dietmar Henning, 26 January 2015

Corporations and government institutions in Germany have called for a “fourth industrial revolution” based on at-will employment.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 16 January 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: Daimler screening workers for terrorist links

By Dietmar Henning, 13 January 2015

Daimler management and its works council have agreed to compare all its employees against EU and US terrorist watch lists every three months.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 9 January 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: Ten years of Hartz IV welfare cuts

By Dietmar Henning, 6 January 2015

The Hartz IV legislation of 2005 began the most destructive attack on the German social welfare system since the end of World War II.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 19 December 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

General strike against austerity hits Belgian government

By Alex Lantier, 16 December 2014

The strike brought the country to a standstill amid mass opposition in the working class to the reactionary Michel government's austerity agenda.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 12 December 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Protests erupt in Rome against attack on job protection

By Marc Wells, 5 December 2014

Protests broke out in Rome against the Renzi government’s Jobs Act, a labor reform that removes basic workers’ rights and guarantees.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 5 December 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Lufthansa pilots in Germany walk out again

By Dietmar Henning, 4 December 2014

Pilots and other workers are fighting company plans to expand operations of its low-cost subsidiaries and slash jobs and wages.

Germany: ThyssenKrupp returns to profitability and steps up its cuts program

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 26 November 2014

ThyssenKrupp is using the international economic crisis to drastically intensify the exploitation of its workforce.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 21 November 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Still The Enemy Within: The 1984-85 British miners’ strike according to the pseudo-left

By Paul Mitchell, 15 November 2014

The central problem with the documentary is its promotion of the state capitalist Socialist Workers Party’s perspective, which lets the Labour Party and the unions entirely off the hook for the betrayal of the miners.

German train drivers face political struggle

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 November 2014

By shutting down the train drivers strike, the leadership of the GDL union signaled its readiness to collaborate with the government.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 14 November 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German GDL union shuts down train drivers’ strike

By our correspondents, 10 November 2014

The strike, which interrupted two-thirds of the country’s rail transport, was shut down even as the courts refused to grant Deustche Bahn a back-to-work order.

UK postal workers take unofficial strike action

By Zach Reed, 10 November 2014

The walkouts are a result of work speedups and job cuts at Royal Mail.

German train drivers continue strike

By our correspondents, 8 November 2014

Along with freight service, passenger service has been affected by the strike since Thursday.

Germany: Left Party attacks striking train drivers

By Johannes Stern, 8 November 2014

The statements by the party chairman and its daily newspaper make clear where the Left Party stands in the escalating conflict—not on the side of the workers, but in solidarity with the German government.

Mass protest strike against austerity staggers new Belgian government

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2014

Over 100,000 workers from Belgium’s Flemish- and French-speaking regions marched in one of Belgium’s biggest protests since the 1960-1961 general strike.

Further job cuts in European auto industry

By Jan Peters, 7 November 2014

Thousands of job cuts are taking place at major assembly plants and in the parts industry.

German train drivers strike in first day

By our correspondents, 7 November 2014

There is widespread support among passengers and coworkers for the train drivers strike.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 7 November 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 24 October 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Tens of thousands march in London against low wages

By Paul Mitchell, 20 October 2014

At Saturday’s rally, the trade union leaders spoke as if they have had nothing to do with the onslaught on living standards and declining wages.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 17 October 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German train drivers and pilots take strike action

By Dietmar Henning, 16 October 2014

The GDL and pilots’ union Cockpit are being deliberately provoked by Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa.

German media attacks train drivers’ right to strike

By Dietmar Henning, 13 October 2014

The attacks on the train drivers’ right to strike will extend to all other workers defending their wages and social gains.

Germany: Nine-hour strike by train drivers

By our reporters, 11 October 2014

The nationwide strike brought most long-distance, regional, freight and commuter trains to a halt.

UK unions begin to demobilise their own pathetic protest strike

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2014

Strikes were called to give undeserved credibility to the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) October 18 “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” march and rally in London.

Authors weigh in on the Amazon-Hachette war

By Christine Schofelt and Fred Mazelis, 10 October 2014

The ongoing e-commerce dispute raises fundamental questions about culture and how—and by whom—the immense advances in technology will be used and controlled.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 10 October 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

CGT union convicted of embezzling funds of France’s biggest works committee

By Pierre Mabut, 7 October 2014

The details of the case underscore how the French Communist Party and corrupt union bureaucracies long ago lost any base in the working class.

German train drivers vote to strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 October 2014

Deutsche Bahn cut its workforce from 350,000 to 190,000 between 2002 and 2012, which has led to constant overtime working.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 3 October 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

French Prime Minister Valls denounces striking Air France pilots

By Stéphane Hugues, 27 September 2014

The head of the Socialist Party government denounced pilots as “selfish” as public support grows for the strikers.

Lufthansa insists on pension cuts for pilots

By Dietmar Henning, 26 September 2014

At talks Monday there was no indication of a deal as Lufthansa refuses to budge from its original plans to cut pilots’ retirement provisions.

Air France pilots’ strike hardens despite government climbdown

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2014

The government’s decision, faced with the pilots’ strike, to force Air France to abandon plans for a new low-cost subsidiary signals a major political crisis in France.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 26 September 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute this regular feature.

Air France management threatens pilots as strike enters second week

By Kumaran Ira, 23 September 2014

Air France is demanding deep cuts in wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Air France pilots strike against low wages

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 September 2014

Seventy-five percent of Air France pilots have been on strike since Monday.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 19 September 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 12 September 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Germany: Union leader condemns train drivers’ strike

By Dietmar Henning, 11 September 2014

The new chairman of the German Trade Union Federation, Reiner Hoffmann, has sided with corporate management against the strikers.