HEUKING represents LOTTO Hamburg in averting strike action

The team led by Dr. Johan-Michel Menke, LL.M., successfully represented LOTTO Hamburg GmbH ("LOTTO") in averting strike action. Following a decision by the Hamburg Labor Court late in the evening of April 11, 2024, the Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (Ver.di) had to withdraw a warning strike call.

"We were able to enforce our client's position before the Hamburg Labor Court. Ver.di had to cancel the warning strike announced for April 12, 2024," said Lukas Zietlow, LL.B., who represented the client.

"We are relieved that LOTTO's gaming operations, and in particular the Eurojackpot draw, can take place today as planned," said one of LOTTO's two managing directors, Michael Heinrich, who also appeared in court.

LOTTO is a public company of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The collective agreement of the public banks applies to the employees - by reference in the employment contract. Ver.di had (nevertheless) repeatedly called on LOTTO to negotiate the conclusion of an in-house collective agreement. After LOTTO had already agreed to the conclusion of an "inflation compensation premium in-house agreement", talks on an emergency service agreement took place on April 9, 2024 - in advance of any further collective bargaining.

Just one day later, Ver.di called for an all-day warning strike on Friday, April 12, 2024 - a particularly "critical" day for LOTTO.

"In our view, such a warning strike would have been disproportionate. It would have jeopardized the drawing of one of Europe's largest lotteries - the Eurojackpot," says Torsten Meinberg, also Managing Director at LOTTO. "This would also have affected other lottery companies and their customers in numerous European countries."

"In addition, we believe that Ver.di has breached the obligation to maintain peace, as the union's resolution to take action also included the inflation compensation bonus, which had already been agreed," added Zietlow.

Against this background, Heuking applied for a temporary injunction on behalf of LOTTO to prohibit the strike - with success: Ver.di had to withdraw its call to strike.

"We now expect Ver.di to conclude the proposed emergency service agreement without delay in order to safeguard gaming operations. Everything else remains to be seen," summarizes Menke.

Counsel to LOTTO Hamburg GmbH

Dr. Johan-Michel Menke, LL.M. (Lead),
Lukas Johannes Zietlow, LL.B. (Litigation, Employment),
Dr. Arietta von Stechow (Employment),
Timo D. Trefzger (Employment), all Hamburg,
Dr. Robert Güther (Foreclosure), Berlin,
Sarah Forkert (Paralegal), Hamburg

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