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German daycare workers rally against Humanist Association's attacks on collective bargaining

GERMAN trade unionists are rallying in Berlin tomorrow against a bid by a humanist organisation that runs nurseries and hospices to end collective bargaining over pay.

The meeting of the praesidium of the Humanist Association (HVD) of Berlin-Brandenburg will be surrounded by workers organised in the Verdi and GEW unions as it discusses proposals to discuss pay only with the works council, an internal body that cannot call strikes.

The association runs dozens of nurseries as well as hospices and a school and employs 1,300 people. It claimed that negotiations with trade unions had failed on Thursday but  — in less than an hour —issued “extensive documents” proposing improvements to pay and conditions to some workers but not others. 

“That showed the employer had no intention of conducting serious negotiations,” Verdi negotiator Ivo Garbe told the Morning Star’s German sister paper Junge Welt. The paper has highlighted attacks on collective bargaining at a number of outsourced public-service employers recently.

Daycare workers took the first strike action in the HVA’s history in March, and unions warn more actions will follow unless it abandons its “anti-union course.”

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