In Brief: BVG warning strikes bring trams, buses, subways to a standstill on Tuesday morning

Berlin public transit workers are going on a warning strike on Tuesday from 3 a.m. until noon.

Photo by Mimipic Photography on Unsplash

 

 

Updated on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Dina Elsayed and Kate Brady

Berlin public transit workers are going on a warning strike on Tuesday from 3 a.m. until noon.

Trams, buses and subways will not be operating during that time, but the S-Bahn trains will continue to run with increased capacity to accommodate stranded commuters.

Neighboring Brandenburg transit workers are also taking part in the warning strike, which will last for 24 hours there.

The strike was called by the Verdi union over what it said was the employers’ refusal to negotiate over pay. A spokesperson said the union recognizes the inconvenience to passengers but that the transit agency left them no choice.

Berlin street sweepers, who are represented by Verdi, are also on a warning strike today (Monday). Garbage removal is reportedly not affected.

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As new COVID-19 cases rise in Berlin, help is on the way for nearly all of the city’s health offices.

German media report that 180 soldiers from the Bundeswehr will fan out across the city this week to help speed up contact tracing and testing.

The exception is the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, where officials have refused military help.

As of Sunday, the seven-day rate citywide is 28 cases per 100,000 residents. If that rises to 30, Berlin’s “traffic light” system will jump to red and more restrictions would be imposed. In five districts, the rate already exceeds 30 and Berlin-Mitte has the highest at 54.7.

The Berlin Senate is meeting Tuesday to discuss curbing alcohol sales, as well as limiting the number of people at private gatherings.

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In a new report, the federal domestic security agency said 350 agents from Germany’s various security branches were punished over far-right extremism in the past three years.

Excerpts of the survey were published by weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag. It showed that most cases of suspected far-right sympathizers in the German security forces were in the central state of Hesse, where 59 disciplinary actions took place.

The full document, due to be published in October, comes after the recent discovery of several far-right networks in the federal police force.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, however, canceled plans this summer to investigate racial profiling in the police force. He claimed it was unnecessary as racial profiling is already prohibited in Germany’s police.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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