Dock workers in West Germany on Wednesday (25 January) began a strike expected to hit hard at the country's foreign trade.
Dock workers in West Germany on Wednesday (25 January) began a strike expected to hit hard at the country's foreign trade. The stoppage, the first official dock strike in Germany for 82 years, is over a pay claim.
SYNOPSIS: Hamburg is among the biggest ports to be effected. The strike would also hit Bremen, Luebeck and most other Baltic and North Sea ports. About one third of West Germany's foreign trade moves through its ports, 11 percent in Hamburg alone. Dockers had originally told port authorities they wanted a nine percent rise on salaries now ranging between almost nine and a half marks (4.70 dollars) to almost 13 and a half marks (6.70 dollars) an hour. When port authorities offered a rise of up to 5.8 percent, dockers said they would not settle for less than six percent. Last-minute talks in Hamburg on Tuesday night (24 January) failed to break the deadlock. Union and port authorities have agreed to hold further talks at a time unspecified when the strike began.