Ver.di is currently calling for warning strikes in social and educational services. FOCUS Online expert and entrepreneur Martin Limbeck analyzes to what extent we cause further damage to our economy through strikes – and what complicity we bear in the fact that it has come to this in the first place.
To get straight to the point: As an entrepreneur, I think strikes are pretty wrong. Of course, it is important that work is also appropriately remunerated. I am a multiple entrepreneur myself and employ around 50 people in various companies.
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But I find it exaggerated to go to the barricades in the truest sense of the word and put a gun to the boss’s chest. If you want to talk about your contract or working conditions, you can make an appointment with your boss. Entrepreneurs are not enemies who need to be fought with walkouts and demonstrations! But it is also clear to me that the wheels in the public sector turn differently than in the private sector.
However, what I denounce is the blinkered thinking of trade unions, especially in the current situation. Do you remember last year? Corona had already paralyzed the country for a good 1.5 years, after the long lockdowns things slowly picked up again – and what is the GDL doing? She felt this was the perfect moment to take to the streets for a wage increase. A tariff increase, although the number of Deutsche Bahn customers has been falling steeply since the beginning of the pandemic.
Martin Limbeck is the founder of the Limbeck® Group, multiple entrepreneur, investor, Senator for Economics (EWS), member of the BVMW Federal Economic Senate and one of the leading experts for sales and sales leadership in Europe. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Martin Limbeck gives lectures and is the official ambassador of Kinderlachen e.V. for sick and needy children in Germany. On May 23, his socio-political book “Dodoland – We’re doing too well” will be published by Ariston. More at https://martinlimbeck.de
Where is the money supposed to come from? In addition, the economy was slowly picking up again at this point. The consequences of the strike, which lasted several days: not only people who did not come to their jobs or only came late. But also interrupted supply chains, uncompleted orders and so on. Is that related? Shouldn’t we all pull together to get our economy back on track?
ver.di is currently calling for all-day warning strikes in social and educational services. The topic has dragged on for weeks because one round of negotiations fails after the next. The demands are clear: according to the trade unionists, upgrading, recognition, relief and measures against the shortage of skilled workers.
I can understand that many parents are now thinking: “Not again!” After all, the past two years have not been easy. Many have worked from home for two years, sometimes without an adequate study. Children were constantly at home because of lockdowns, a runny nose or a corona infection in the daycare group – a double burden that does not go well in the long run. And as soon as the topic of Corona is halfway through, is there a strike?
What many overlook at this point: the negotiations on the working conditions of educators and social workers were actually scheduled for March 2020. We all know what happened next. In terms of content, the strikes are definitely justified. Everywhere people complain that our children are doing worse and worse in an international comparison – and yet savings are being made wherever possible.
The salary is low, while the burden keeps increasing: In many places there are just two educators for 20-30 kindergarten children, while politicians are of the opinion that they should be encouraged individually. From educators who are pedagogically up to date and preferably multilingual – and ideally carry out these further training courses in their free time without remuneration. It hardly gets any further away from reality. For me, this is typical Dodo behavior: whining and making demands, but not doing anything that could change the situation.
We brought it on ourselves that it got to this point. What used to be a popular profession is no longer an option for many young people today. On the one hand, because we tell our children themselves that they absolutely have to study. And they should then take a “job with future prospects”. By this, most people probably mean a job that is primarily worthwhile financially. Let’s be honest, if something has a future, it’s working with children! But here we have to do just as much as our government, so that professions in social and educational services experience the necessary appreciation and recognition again – financially and socially.
Nevertheless, I ask myself: Is now the right time to go on strike? Don’t we have bigger challenges at the moment? Because the leaders of the strikes are primarily people who cannot help it. And who are prevented from being productive by strikes. Closed day-care centers make the situation even worse for families who depend on both parents working. If the train strikes, thousands have problems getting to work on time or at all. Doctors cannot operate when nurses are on strike. Against this background, I find the calls from trade unions for more solidarity with their members currently quite lacking in solidarity.