On Tuesday, according to reports, German trade union Verdi suspended the strike at one of Berlin’s main hospitals due to fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Several hundred employees of hospital subsidiary Charite Facility Management (CFM) ended a walkout early on Tuesday, returning to work at the Charite hospital after less than 24 hours, Verdi said. “We are acting responsibly and do not want to risk an uncontrollable propagation of the virus in the hospital sector,’’ said Verdi’s chief negotiator Marco Pavlik.
In a press release announcing the decision, Verdi said it was immediately suspending all strike action across Germany until further notice to protect human lives and prevent the disease spreading.
The trade union said employees will resume their planned warning strike over pay and working conditions as soon as the situation is clarified.
The Charite subsidiary CFM employs around 2,500 people. Their tasks include waste disposal, deliveries, and cleaning services. Employees have been demanding fairer working conditions and wages since early February. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany hit 188 on Tuesday. Leading politicians have called for measures to help shield the country’s economy and prevent a recession.