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Geneva public transport strike continues into second day

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 13 Oct, 2022 Updated Thu 13 Oct 2022 10:06 CEST
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A view of Geneva. Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Bus and tram drivers in Switzerland's second-largest city Geneva continued their strike action on Thursday. But when will it end?

The strike headed into its second day after the unions voted to do continue their industrial action, explaining that their demands for higher wages have not been granted. 

“The absence of proposals from management to resolve the conflict has fuelled the anger of TPG staff,” the unions said in a statement.

What’s at stake in the negotiations between the union and TPG employees?

“The question of wage indexation for 2022 was the detonator of the social conflict at the TPG”, according to Geneva’s daily, Le Temps.

 The strikers have been demanding the indexation of 1.2 percent since January, while the company's board of directors has decided on a salary adjustment of 0.6 percent, in addition to the single payment of 400 francs.

Indexation is a process involving establishment of clauses in contracts where wages are automatically linked to price developments — for instance, inflation.

The TPG management has not met the union’s full demands because it would mean an extra 3.2 million francs from the company’s budget, Le Temps said.

How has the strike disrupted public transport in Geneva?

“In the city, no or very few buses are running”, Tribune de Genève reported Thursday morning “Those in service are mainly regional and cross-border lines”, like Léman Express train, which links Vaud and Geneva with nearby communities in France.

Traffic of the urban network, however, is “extremely limited”, the newspaper reports.

Demonstrators outside the TPG headquarters are preventing buses and trams from leaving the Bachet-de-Pesay, La Jonction and En Chardon sites.

 “While a few trams were able to go out very early in the day, the situation is now blocked”, TPG said in a press release.

“In total, eight trams are in service only on lines 12 and 14, which is largely insufficient compared to the existing demand. There are no trolleybuses or buses in the city centre”.

For their part, the unions representing TPG employees, SEV and Transfair, said that “only a few vehicles circulate on the network”.

“As long as the strike movement is active, the transport offer will remain extremely limited and the network severely disrupted”, the TPG added.

So far, neither the strikers nor the unions said whether the action will continue on Friday, or even beyond that date.

This site shows what the situation is in real time.

This action is unusual in Switzerland, as strikes are extremely rare here, unlike in other countries.

READ MORE: Why are strikes so rare in Switzerland?



Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/10/13 10:06

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