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Strikes, protests in Europe over cost of living and pay

11/30/2022 | 12:15pm EST

Nov 30 (Reuters) - European countries face strikes and protests due to high energy prices and a wider rise in living costs. Here are details of some of the industrial action and demonstrations.

BRITAIN

* More than 10,000 ambulance workers across England and Wales have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions, the GMB union said on Nov. 30, after nurses voted to strike on Dec. 15 and 20 for more pay. The actions will put further pressure on the state-run National Health Service.

Britain faces widespread industrial unrestin the run up to the Christmas holiday and into January as workers struggling with double-digit inflation resort to strike action to demand better pay and working conditions.

* Britain's BT said on Nov. 28 it would give all but its highest paid staff a 1,500 pounds ($1,800) special pay rise from Jan. 1 to reflect the rising cost of living. The move was backed by two unions and could halt strike action at the telecoms group.

* Pay awards by British employers held at a 30-year high of 4% in the three months to October, well below annual inflation of more than 11%, data from human resources company XpertHR showed.

GERMANY

* The Verdi union said Black Friday work stoppages were planned at 10 Amazon fulfilment centres in Germany as part of the Make Amazon Pay initiative targeting the online retailer worldwide.

* Volkswagen agreed on Nov. 23 a two-year wage deal for around 125,000 workers at its western German factories, offering around 8.5% more pay - below inflation but more than other employers have yielded in recent weeks.

* Germany's IG Metall union agreed on Nov. 18 a below-inflation pay deal in a powerhouse region, setting the benchmark for 3.9 million metal and electrical sector workers nationwide.

* Verdi said on Nov. 18 it had reached a wage agreement with energy company RWE for roughly 18,000 employees that includes one-off 3,000 euro ($3,122) payments and salary increases of at least 6% from Feb. 1.

* Lufthansa and the UFO union have reached a pay agreement for 19,000 cabin crew members, the German airline said.

* German carmaker Audi favours offering employees one-off tax-free payments instead of permanent wage increases, its human resources director said.

NETHERLANDS

* BP said on Nov. 22 that a pay dispute was delaying the planned restart of its large refinery in Rotterdam. Some operations resumed on Nov. 26 and talks continue.

FRANCE

* Trade unions UNAC and SNGAF said they were calling for strike action over work conditions at Air France during the Christmas holidays from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2.

* France's EDF said on Oct. 27 it had formally signed a wage agreement with all unions at the company.

SPAIN

* Spain's banks and the country's two biggest unions reached an agreement to raise wages of employees in the sector by 4.5% in 2023 compared to 2022, the banking association AEB and the union CCOO said on Nov. 29.

* Zara shop workers in its home town of A Coruna started a two-day strike during its "Black Friday" sales campaign.

* Insurer Mapfre will give approximately 10,000 employees a 400 euro bonus at Christmas to help them cope with soaring inflation. It paid a 350 euro bonus in July.

* Thousands of Spaniards packed Madrid's landmark Plaza Mayor square on Nov. 3 to demand higher pay, its first mass protest since the start of the cost of living crisis.

ITALY

* Italy's state railways company Ferrovie dello Stato said on Nov. 25 it would give its 82,000 staff a 300 euro cost-of-living bonus under a new government-approved scheme.

PORTUGAL

* Thousands of doctors, nurses, teachers and civil servants walked off the job on Nov. 18 to demand wage increases amid rampant inflation.

AUSTRIA

* Austria's rail workers held a "warning strike" on Nov. 28 that shut down train traffic throughout the country, after pay talks fell through. The main rail union is seeking a 400 euro pay rise for the sector's 50,000 employees.

* Austrian metal workers secured on Nov. 4 an average annual pay rise of over 7%, above the 6.3% inflation rate for the negotiating period, which may be a bellwether for other sectors.

NORWAY

Two labour unions representing SAS cabin crew in Norway said on Nov. 30 they had reached agreement with the airline over wages, averting a strike.

($1 = 0.9609 euros)

($1 = 0.8363 pounds)

(Compiled by Catherine Evans Editing by Mark Potter)


ę Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIR FRANCE-KLM -1.34% 1.5785 Real-time Quote.29.98%
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.07% 102.11 Delayed Quote.23.08%
BP PLC 7.95% 516.4 Delayed Quote.0.73%
BT GROUP PLC 2.61% 133.75 Delayed Quote.16.33%
ELECTRICITÉ DE FRANCE -0.12% 12 Real-time Quote.0.13%
GMB CORPORATION -1.65% 716 Delayed Quote.4.90%
LUFTHANSA -1.53% 9.653 Delayed Quote.26.25%
MAPFRE S.A. 0.55% 1.84 Delayed Quote.1.11%
RWE AG -0.76% 40.47 Delayed Quote.-2.69%
VOLKSWAGEN AG 0.71% 131.26 Delayed Quote.11.96%
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