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Union calls for strikes as state wage talks fail

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Union calls for strikes as state wage talks fail
File photo of Bsirske, whose name is fun to say three times fast. Photo: DPA
08:40 CET+01:00
Frank Bsirske, head of public workers' trade union Verdi, has called for more strikes after a third round of wage negotiations with German states failed on Saturday.

“It's our turn and we'll take our movement to the streets,” Bsirske told ARD in an interview on Monday, adding that the offers from the states have not been sufficient.

Germans have a right to state employees who do good work, but these workers also have the right to “good compensation,” he said.

Meanwhile interior minister for the state of Lower Saxony and representative for the states in the wage negotiations Hartmut Möllring told the Monday edition of the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung that he was not worried by more possible strikes. “In a wage conflict three years ago we lived through a 15 week strike,” he said. “That isn't a threat, but a simple declaration.”

The third round of negotiations between German states and unions ended without an agreement on Saturday in Potsdam. The TDL state wage alliance offered a wage increase of 4.2 percent – their first offer since negotiations began. But the union officials rejected the offer and more negotiations are scheduled for February 28 and March 1.

Union officials are demanding an eight percent salary increase, or a minimum of €200 more per month for the 700,000 workers they represent. They have called for limited warning strikes across the country in recent weeks as the wage dispute escalates. Workers from two of Germany's 16 federal states, Hesse and Berlin, are not participating in the negotiations.

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