Germans Hate Monopolies

Unless they are labor monopolies, of course. They’re always showing Verständnis (understanding) for strikes. And this despite the fact that only about a fifth of employees in Germany are union members.

Strike

It might be a bit different this time, however. The latest hostage-taking of millions of German travelers over the weekend (a weekend in which there are more travelers than usual due to school breaks in most German Länder) during a 50+ hour strike by the GDL train drivers’ union is finally starting to piss people off here.

It’s becoming increasing clear that the union’s boss Claus Weselsky, is suffering from “delusions of omnipotence” and that his thirst for power has less to do with the interests of the train drivers then he would like us to believe. And the passengers? What passengers?

By the way, unlike labor monopolies, Germans don’t generally like leaders with “delusions of omnipotence” anymore.

Es ist erstaunlich, dass sich die Lokführer auf dieses Spiel einlassen. Denn Weselsky ist gerade dabei, seine eigene Klientel durch den Dreck zu ziehen. Für die Erschließung neuer Kompetenzfelder lässt er es zu, dass ganz Deutschland aufschreit: Stoppt die Lokführer! Dabei geht es hier gar nicht um die Lokführer. Die werden von der GDL bestens und uneingeschränkt vertreten, selbst wenn sie bei der Konkurrenz organisiert sind.

Because They Can

Train drivers’ union GDL called for the next senseless nationwide strike starting tonight. But all they’re really doing here is showing the other train drivers’ unions out there (there are three, I think) who they think is the baddest union what’s in charge. The main thing is that hostages will be taken.

Strike

Someone once said: “If unions raise wage rates in a particular occupation or industry, they necessarily make the amount of employment available in the occupation or industry less than it otherwise would be – just as any higher price cuts down the amount purchased. The effect is an increased number of persons seeking other jobs, which forces down wages in other occupations.”

I know that this applies to a lesser degree for train drivers but that’s just what you’ve got here in Germany, on a broad scale. The overpaid on the inside and the underpaid on the out. On the down and out? And yet everyone here continues to show “understanding” for strikes like this.

Es ist nicht etwa so, dass die Lokführer mehr Geld fordern und die Bahn ihnen das verweigert. Die Reisenden zeigen Verständnis für einen Streik, den sie nicht einmal ansatzweise durchdrungen haben. “Der GDL-Führung geht es aber darum, das Terrain von Konkurrenzgewerkschaften erobern zu wollen. Dafür nimmt sie Schaden für Kunden, Mitarbeiter und Unternehmen in Kauf.“