Dock workers in West Germany on Wednesday (25 January) began a strike expected to hit hard at the country's foreign trade.
LV Hamburg harbour scene. (Rain)
GV Tugboats moored
GV PAN FROM Moored boat TO marshalling yards.
GV TILT DOWN FROM Unused cranes TO empty yard.
GV Stationary railway goods vehicle.
CU Strike notice PAN TO strikers. (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Deserted container yard TO strikers.
GV AND GV PAN Containers scattered around dockyard.
West Germany has almost 20,000 dock workers, of whom 89 percent belong to the Public Service and Transport Workers Union (OETV). The affected ports handle an average of more than three million tons of cargo a week. The strike immobilised 120 ships in Hamburg harbour. On the first day, immense piles of export goods piled up in warehouses and railway siding. The union allowed perishable goods to be handled.
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Background: Dock workers in West Germany on Wednesday (25 January) began a strike expected to hit hard at the country's foreign trade. The stoppage, the first official dock strike in Germany for 82 years, is over a pay claim.
SYNOPSIS: Hamburg is among the biggest ports to be effected. The strike would also hit Bremen, Luebeck and most other Baltic and North Sea ports. About one third of West Germany's foreign trade moves through its ports, 11 percent in Hamburg alone. Dockers had originally told port authorities they wanted a nine percent rise on salaries now ranging between almost nine and a half marks (4.70 dollars) to almost 13 and a half marks (6.70 dollars) an hour. When port authorities offered a rise of up to 5.8 percent, dockers said they would not settle for less than six percent. Last-minute talks in Hamburg on Tuesday night (24 January) failed to break the deadlock. Union and port authorities have agreed to hold further talks at a time unspecified when the strike began.