Public workers’ strikes hit eastern states

Public workers' strikes hit eastern states
Public workers strike in Düsseldorf on Monday. Photo: DPA
Limited strikes by German public workers continued on Thursday, this time teachers street crews and bureaucrats in the eastern states taking part.

As public sector unions continue to pressure employers for wage increases, the strikes kicked off in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where members of the Education and Science Workers’ Union (GEW) walked off the job early in the morning.

Meanwhile several state bureaucratic offices were expecting strikes by their workers throughout the day.

Union members in the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia were also called to strike, reports said.

Estimates on the number of participants remained uncertain, but at least 2,000 union members were expected at a GEW protest action in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In each of the other three other eastern states at least 2,500 workers were expected to walk off their jobs temporarily.

The public workers’ unions have been calling strikes across the country since Monday after they failed to reach a wage agreement with employers last Friday for some 600,000 public workers nationwide.

Workers at university clinics, courts, schools ministries and municipal administrative offices, along with street maintenance crews and fire fighters, have all taken part.

Unions have demanded an additional €50 per month plus a three-percent wage increase, in addition to a guarantee of employment for apprentices.

The next round of negotiations is scheduled for March 9 in Potsdam.


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