The Berlin Transport
Company (BVG) has been paralysed by a long and militant strike of the drivers
and the maintenance and administration workers. After years of concessions and
backsliding by the unions the workers have said they have had enough.
Recent local elections
have seen the Left Party (Die Linke) emerge as a force to the left of the SPD.
At the same time we are seeing a growing level of trade union militancy. This
reflects the growing malaise within German society as a layer of workers and
youth look for an alternative.
Earlier this month the German
railways were brought to a halt by a paralysing strike. There is a real mood of
militancy among German rail workers, but at the top in the trade unions deals
are going ahead that envisage the privatisation of the railway network with a
generalised worsening of working conditions, lowering of safety levels and so