Strikes close schools in Hamburg and the Rhineland

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 5 Feb, 2009 Updated Thu 5 Feb 2009 17:45 CEST
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Thousands of public workers staged temporary strikes in a wage dispute with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city-state of Hamburg on Thursday, shutting down schools and local administration offices.

In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia some 3,000 teachers walked off the job, forcing many schools to shut down for the day, educator’s union GEW reported.

In Hamburg, 3,000 employees represented by public workers’ union Verdi laid down their pens, shutting down district administration offices and motor vehicle departments, as well as schools, the union said.

The strikes went on for the third day in a row as tens of thousands of public workers across the nation try to pressure their states to provide a 10 percent wage increase. Last Monday, the Verdi union failed to reach an agreement with the states at talks in Potsdam.

The third round of negotiations for the some 700,000 employees will take place on February 14-15.

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