Strikes at German ports – Heuking successfully represents port companies

With a team led by Dr. Andreas Walle, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek successfully represented the port companies against trade union ver.di in front of the Hamburg Labor Court. The parties reached an agreement in the current wage dispute according to which the dockworkers were permitted to continue their two-day warning strike until Saturday morning. This is now followed by a period during which the parties to the collective agreement will not to engage in industrial action until August 26, 2022 but continue good-faith negotiations.

Dockworkers staged a workforce strike in all major German North Sea ports starting at 6 a.m. on July 14, 2022 and ending in the morning of Juli 16, stopping work in Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, and Wilhelmshaven.

Already the third industrial action in as many weeks, the strike followed the failure of the latest round of negotiations to agree on a collective bargaining agreement dispute for 12,000 workers at 58 companies in Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Bremen.

The strike is bound to have adverse impacts on the already tense situation in the shipping industry. Loading and unloading of ships have largely come to a standstill, adding to the congestion crisis in ports. Ulrike Riedel, lead negotiator of the Central Association of German Seaport Companies ZDS, referred to the call for a strike as “irresponsible” in view of disrupted supply chains that are negatively affecting consumers and businesses alike.

Counsel to port companies
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:

Dr. Andreas Walle (Lead)
Dr. Eva Kettner, LL.B.
Theresa Arndt, LL.M. (all Employment), all Hamburg

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