News from Germany and Berlin, 8th October 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


compiled by Ana Ferreira


Gorillas drivers: “Don’t look at us as numbers or machines”.

In Berlin, drivers of the popular delivery service Gorillas have once more gone on strike against poor working conditions. The company is one of the most thrilling and controversial start-ups in Germany – and the fact that it does not rest is nowhere more evident than in Berlin. Just on Monday morning, another one of the delivery service’s warehouses in Tempelhof was closed for two days. The demands of the riders are manifold: twelve euros per hour wage, quick maintenance of the bikes, better allocation of shift work, intermediate breaks and information about how heavy the bags filled with food actually are. Source: rbb

No room for queer treasures

Berlin receives a great gift: Prof. Dr Jan Philipp Reemtsma’s Hamburg Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture donated an extensive library on the history of sexual science to the Magnus Hirschfeld Society. With these, the city gets a replacement for the library of Dr Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science destroyed in 1933. The Magnus Hirschfeld Society would also like to make this treasure accessible to the public, but there are currently no rooms for an extension of the library. Worse still, the institution will have to leave its premises next year because the building is to be converted for a federal ministry. Source:

Another large police search of Rigaer 94

First a fire inspection with 1,000 officers, now an identity check with over 300 police officers, some of them wearing hoods: when it comes to the left-wing house project in Rigaer Straße 94 in Friedrichshain, the Berlin police spares no effort. And, yes, the police are “only” enforcing an order issued by the local court. The timing of the martially executed search of the house project as well as the announced eviction of the “Köpi” car park in Mitte is nevertheless remarkably convenient – at least for the opponents of a continuation of the previous centre-left alliance in the city. Source: nd

Strike could end at Charité but must continue at Vivantes

About the strike in Charité and Vivantes: of course, a collective bargaining dispute can only be fought “hard”. But in the end, all parties stand next to each other and say: “It’s a milestone”. It is easy to be understood: if the working conditions are not good, it will not be possible to increase the massive lack of staff, and it will not be possible to persuade the employees who are still there to stay. The Charité has realised this. For Vivantes, the latest developments show that their demands are not an illusion. Relief is possible. Source: nd



Reservists of the Bundeswehr allegedly planned attacks on migrants

The public prosecutor’s office in Lüneburg is investigating nine accused on charges of joining or commanding an armed group. According to SPIEGEL reports, the group planned to kill migrants. In September, investigators searched eight properties in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin because of the suspicions. Weapons, ammunition and material were seized which suggested that the reservists were right-wing extremists. The investigators learned too that Jens G. was in close contact with an advisor in the Federal Ministry of Defence. A spokesperson for CDU Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the ministry was pursuing an unyielding line on the issue of right-wing extremism. Source: Spiegel

AfD successful in Saxony

In Dorfchemnitz, over 50 percent voted for the AfD. Why did the AfD gets its best results in Saxony? In Saxony as a whole, where the AfD achieved 24.6 per cent in the federal election. The party got its worst results in western Germany. In the constituencies of Cologne II and Münster, for instance, it achieved only 2.9 per cent. However, the voters in Saxony state they are not “brown.” Who can untie the knots and contradictions of such situation? The political scientist Hans Vorländer, from TU Dresden, argues that the AfD has replaced the Left and above all the CDU with the image of the caretaker party. Source: taz

Asklepios clinics threatened with indefinite strike

According to the trade union ver.di, 91 per cent of the employees questioned in a ballot were in favour of industrial action. Ver.di is criticising the fact that Brandenburg employees earn up to 10,000 euros less per year for the same work than colleagues at the group’s Hamburg sites. An Asklepios spokesperson claimed that the union would drive the clinics to ruin. Since the last round of negotiations in June, workers in Brandenburg have already been on strike for a total of ten days. It is not yet clear when the indefinite strike will begin. Source: deutschlandfunk