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Poll: Germans support public worker strikes

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08:59 CET+01:00
The public service worker wage dispute that has been playing out on German streets for the last week is largely supported by the German public, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

According to the poll in German weekly magazine Stern, 74 percent of Germans think the strikes are justified. Some 23 percent have “no sympathy” for the workers' cause.

Particular sympathy came from civil servants who participated in the poll. Meanwhile, support from members of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the environmentalist Greens, and the Left Party members measured between 84 and 89 percent.

The poll showed differences in support between the eastern and western states of the country. The conflict didn't receive as much support in the east. Some 67 percent of easterners supported the strikes, in contrast to 75 percent in the west.

Workers across the country in various public sector jobs, including day care workers, airport employees, waste collectors, and public transport workers ramped up pressure on employers, staging warning strikes in the last week in an effort to pressure employers.

Public worker's union Verdi represents more than 1.3 million workers in the public sector and is fighting to get an 8 percent increase in salary or an additional €200 ($300) per month. Authorities have proposed a five percent increase over two years, along with an extension of the workweek from 38.5 hours to 40 hours.

Negotiations broke down last week and arbitration is set to begin on Saturday.

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