European Workers Issues

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

24 April 2015

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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

17 April 2015

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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

10 April 2015

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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

3 April 2015

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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

13 March 2015

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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

6 March 2015

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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

27 February 2015

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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

20 February 2015

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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

13 February 2015

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 February 2015

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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

30 January 2015

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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

16 January 2015

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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

9 January 2015

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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

19 December 2014

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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

12 December 2014

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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

5 December 2014

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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

21 November 2014

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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

14 November 2014

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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

7 November 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 October 2014

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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

17 October 2014

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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

10 October 2014

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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

3 October 2014

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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

26 September 2014

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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

19 September 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 September 2014

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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.

German train drivers union to hold warning strike Tuesday

By Dietmar Henning, 8 September 2014

The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) and the government have announced measures to prevent strikes by pilots, train drivers and many other workers.

Germany: ThyssenKrupp announces more job cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 2 September 2014

The company official who announced the layoffs was Oliver Burkard, who recently quit his post as local boss of the IG Metall union.

EU advisors advocate use of military against strikes and protests

By Denis Krassnin, 19 August 2014

An EU think tank has advised governments to protect the rich from the poor by suppressing social protests.

UK rail union’s “Listen to London” conference a fiasco

By Michael Barnes, 12 August 2014

Workers stayed away from the RMT’s conference called to justify the sellout of rail strikes.

London mayor threatens to dock pay of striking firefighters

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 8 August 2014

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously imposed cuts to fire services, including the closure of fire stations.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

2 August 2014

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German firm WMF plans elimination of 700 jobs

By K. Nesan, 29 July 2014

The main shareholder in the WMF group is the New York-based investment firm KKR.

Executive pay at German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp swells amid mass layoffs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 26 July 2014

The salaries of top executives at Germany’s ThyssenKrupp increased by up to 69 percent last year, even as the company laid off thousands of workers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

25 July 2014

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Keolis to operate London’s Docklands Light Railway for seven years

By Paul Bond, 17 July 2014

The Docklands Light Railway, established to serve London’s financial district, has long been the testing ground for a more generalised assault on workers’ conditions.

Pakistani migrant fruit pickers in Greece strike over inhuman conditions

By John Vassilopoulos, 15 July 2014

Local police are playing a central role in silencing opposition to the inhuman conditions the workers face, including the non-payment of wages.

Hundreds demonstrate in Dublin in support of locked-out waste collection workers

By Jordan Shilton, 15 July 2014

Workers in Dublin are protesting a lockout imposed by Greyhound Recycling.

Dozens of refugees suffocate in boat off the coast of Italy

By Martin Kriekenbaum, 7 July 2014

On June 30, the Italian Coast Guard discovered the bodies of 45 refugees in an overcrowded fishing boat.

Greek power workers threatened with state strikebreaking

By John Vassilopoulos, 5 July 2014

Workers at the Public Power Corporation in Greece began a 48-hour strike from midnight on Wednesday.

UK unions propose one-day protest strike over pay

By Tony Robson, 2 July 2014

Since coming to power in May 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has been able to mount a one-sided assault on the working class thanks to the unions.

German automaker BMW reports record sales, prepares attacks on workers

By Michael Regens, 30 June 2014

In close collaboration with the trade unions, Germany’s third largest automaker is planning major wage cuts and rationalisation measures.

Jobs losses at Kellogg’s UK part of global profit drive

By Danny Richardson, 25 June 2014

Job cuts form part of the firm’s Global Business Services (GBS) restructuring plans.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 June 2014

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Workers speak out against privatization of French railways

By Anthony Torres, 19 June 2014

Approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris on June 17 to protest the Socialist Party government’s planned privatization of the French railways.

French rail workers, artists protest social cuts

By Kumaran Ira, 16 June 2014

Nationwide strikes involving rail and cultural workers reflect rising social opposition to the Socialist Party government.

Closure of UK colliery exposes role of miners’ union

By Simon Whelan, 9 June 2014

The NUM is promoting a buyout of the pit in which the workforce will have to invest their own money in a venture that has no guarantee of success.

German firm Siemens to eliminate a further 11,600 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 3 June 2014

IG Metall and the works council defend the company’s competitiveness and profits, not the interests of the workers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

30 May 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

23 May 2014

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