Retail: Verdi calls for further warning strikes in Galeria branches

In protest against the tough restructuring course at the insolvent department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the Verdi union called on employees in numerous branches to go on warning strikes on Wednesday.

Retail: Verdi calls for further warning strikes in Galeria branches

In protest against the tough restructuring course at the insolvent department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the Verdi union called on employees in numerous branches to go on warning strikes on Wednesday. The union reported that department stores in Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate were affected.

According to union information, almost 1,000 Galeria employees in Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse had already stopped work on Holy Saturday. According to the company, all branches remained open despite the warning strikes.

The background to the protest actions is the restructuring plan for the company approved by the creditors. It provides for the closure of 47 of the 129 branches nationwide, which would mean the loss of around 4,000 jobs.

However, Verdi did not justify the warning strikes with the restructuring plan, but with deadlocked collective bargaining for the currently around 17,000 employees. Among other things, the union demands the recognition of the regional collective bargaining agreements in retail and insolvency protection for time credits and payment entitlements that are not due with the monthly remuneration.

Collective bargaining is expected to resume at the end of April

"The workforce has been investing money in the restructuring of the company for many years and foregoes up to 5,500 euros every year," said chief negotiator Marcel Schäuble. The fact that employers are now demanding wage cuts again is bringing people to the streets at Galeria.

The Galeria board had criticized plans for warning strikes. "The planned strike measures are obviously illegal and threaten to cause ruinous damage for which you would be held liable," wrote CEO Miguel Müllenbach and Galeria chief representative Arndt Geiwitz to the Verdi leadership. The letter was available to the Business Insider portal. Both bosses reminded that Galeria is still in bankruptcy proceedings and an "existential crisis situation".

Collective bargaining is expected to resume at the end of April.

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