No subways, only four tram lines and significantly fewer buses than normal: Because of a major warning strike, public transport in Munich is severely affected this Tuesday. Since 3:30 a.m., all drivers of the Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) have been asked not to show up for work. Many have obviously followed this. The strike lasts until 6 p.m. – and by then not a single subway will run. Traffic is significantly restricted on buses and trams. The Munich S-Bahn is not affected by the strike.
The fear of the MVG is: Should they send individual subways onto the track, many people might be tempted to go to one of the subway stations – in the hope of catching a train there. And then there would be a dangerous crowd on the platforms. These therefore remain closed until 6 p.m.
Those who want to take a bus have the best chance this Tuesday. Since around eight in the morning, there has been at least a 20-minute cycle on all lines. A spokesman said about half of all buses are in use. Because private bus companies also drive through Munich on behalf of the MVG, and their drivers are not called for a warning strike.
With the trams, on the other hand, the offer is much thinner throughout Tuesday: Since, according to the MVG, only about a fifth of the trains that are otherwise available can be used, they only run on four routes. First in the morning line 19 between Pasing and Berg am Laim went into operation. This was followed by lines 16 and 17, which run between Neuhausen and Bogenhausen, and line 27 from Petuelring to Sendlinger Tor until around 8 a.m. All of these tram lines are only served every 20 minutes. All other lines are canceled until about 6 p.m., as the MVG announced.
The S-Bahn, which is operated by Deutsche Bahn, is not affected by the strike. A spokeswoman reported that the trains were “punctually” more crowded in the morning than usual. Overall, however, there were no major abnormalities. Your impression: The passengers had “adjusted well” to the local transport strike, and many probably stayed at home. Just a signal disruption on the main S-Bahn line towards Ostbahnhof caused temporary annoyance in the morning: As a result, many trains were delayed.
The situation on the streets
As a police spokesman said that “of course more Munich residents were driving in the morning”, there was a lot more going on on the streets during rush hour. Especially on the major roads into Munich and on the Mittlerer Ring. The traffic there was also jammed because of a technical breakdown: One of the stationary speed cameras on Landshuter Allee broke down shortly after six in the morning, as the spokesman reported, and flashed every car that drove past it – regardless of its speed. The result: many drivers braked, which made the traffic flow even slower. The machine should be repaired in the morning.
Why the strike is so big this time
“Those who can should avoid the MVG means of transport today,” warned the transport company to its customers. You should plan more time and, if possible, switch to the S-Bahn that is not on strike. But there, too, one would have to reckon with “significantly increased passenger numbers”. This time, the warning strike goes further than comparable work stoppages in the past. Because the drivers in Munich have so far been paid according to two different collective agreements. Earlier arguments were about only one person, so only part of the staff could go on strike at any given time. The rest drove so that the MVG could always maintain a large part of the offer. This time it’s different.
The background of the warning strike
There is a company collective agreement for the drivers of the MVG. Some of the Munich drivers are still employed by Stadtwerke, the parent company of MVG; for them the (generally better) Bavaria-wide collective agreement for local public transport applies. Both contracts expired at the end of June and are currently being renegotiated. The unions, especially Verdi, are demanding more money than employers – including the MVG – are willing to pay. Because of the high loss of income as a result of the Corona crisis, there is hardly any leeway, argues the MVG.
In addition, the strike involves a third collective agreement that does not yet exist: the unions are trying to conclude a nationwide framework collective agreement for local transport. With this request they have failed so far, the Germany-wide warning strikes on this Tuesday should be a means of pressure. At MVG, on the other hand, this is considered disproportionate, since everything that Verdi is demanding for a nationwide contract has long been agreed in Bavaria and Munich.
The current operating situation can also be found on the MVG website, in the MVG Fahrinfo app Twitter or on the Facebook page of the MVG.
Where there is still a strike
In Bavaria Verdi wants to strike the local transport in a total of eleven cities today. In addition to Munich, these are Nuremberg, Augsburg, Regensburg, Landshut, Fürth, Coburg, Bamberg, Aschaffenburg, Würzburg and Schweinfurt. “In Augsburg there is next to nothing,” said a spokesman for the local utility company in the morning. In Regensburg, the bus traffic is completely paralyzed, according to the municipal utilities. In Nuremberg, instead of trams and underground trains, buses run along the night line network.