• Germany's news in English

Unions call nationwide strikes on Monday

The Local · 2 Mar 2012, 15:14

Published: 02 Mar 2012 15:14 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Ver.di, the public workers’ union, said the warning strikes will take place all over the country following a breakdown in talks between the union and state, local and federal governments.

The union wants a 6.5 percent wage hike or a minimum of €200 per month increase for its two million members. It also wants trainees to be hired on without any contract limits and for trainee compensation to increase by €100. The union, one of the world’s largest, said salary talks will resume March 12.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich described the negotiations as “difficult” and said the union’s demands were not realistic.

And Thomas Böhle, the lead negotiator for local municipalities, said German cities cannot afford the union’s demands and that cities were having to cut services, raise property taxes and fees due to their miserable deficit situation.

With €129 billion in debt, local governments are facing their highest shortfalls ever. What the union is asking for is not even close to what is doable, he said.

But Ver.di chief Frank Bsirske said inflation has increased faster than public sector salaries and that has resulted in weaker buying power for public workers. “That cannot continue,” he said. He called for a “clear, significant and durable real salary improvement with a social component for the lower income groups.”

The union is being backed by the left-leaning Social Democratic Party and the Left Party.

Story continues below…

DAPD/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:15 March 3, 2012 by milwaukeetomunich
Will the unions never learn? Someone should have Mr. Bsirske look at what happened in the U.S. last year. The state of Wisconsin took a proactive approach and limited union demands, forcing public workers to help with the healing process. The result has been nothing short of amazing. More funds, no lost jobs ... Compared to what happened in Illinois, which took a path that Mr. Bsirske would have approved of, that has resulted in billions more added to an already expensive deficit. I'm not saying public workers aren't experiencing reduced spending power or that they don't deserve more. But the reality of the current economic environment is that it's simply the wrong time to be demanding it.
21:01 March 3, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I thought Germany was booming with everyone happily employed and the economoy motoring along whilst dragging the rest of lazy Europe on it's coat tails. Have I missed something?
09:29 March 5, 2012 by Yah right

You present a bot of propaganda, heh?

I would paint a slightly different picture, based upon what I read.

Also, is your Hitler governor having to face a recall election now???

Please be honest when you post!

The unions in your state were targeted by angry people who had lost their jobs or who could not get decent wages and benefits from employers. Thus, they looked at the union workers and were green with envy, and subsequently attacked those workers.

My, how you present things!
11:48 March 5, 2012 by Eastard
"Yah Wrong" .... It continues to amaze everyone when those with no argument bring up Hitler to slur someone's opinion. Is he really in charge of leadership in Germany or were you just implying something negative...

In the US, people are tired of the entitlement unions represent and the gang-like attitude they show. In two states the leadership said NO we do not have more money and we are not raising taxes (only revenue source for state government other than OBAMA)... If US were to have voted, they would have all been replaced that day... It sounds like some of that behavior and attitude has taken to Germany... Up until it affects you it will be fine... not really... Has the union actually made a cost of living case or is this just collective greed... Why not do what Obama wants to do and go after the rich.... just vote and take their money and everything will be OK.... until next time they need more money and all the rich are gone...
15:20 March 5, 2012 by BobbyDigital
Who turned the italics on?!
18:47 March 5, 2012 by Staticjumper
Wow Yah Right!

According to Godwin's Law - "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." The key is as a discussion "grows longer". Do you really have to lead with Godwin, or are you that completely devoid of a logical arguement?
18:52 March 5, 2012 by carlm
If they don't like their jobs, they should find new ones. If I were king in Germany, I'd fire them all, that's what Reagan did to the air traffic controllers here in 1981. They didn't strike again.
01:20 March 6, 2012 by Yah right

The gov. If wiscinsin has, any times, been referred to as a Hitler, by your own people. I ask you, is he facing recall now? It appears to me that the people in this state are quite fed up with his type of politics.

I understand also that this little Hitler governor did not even finish his post secondary education. He is then perhaps not quite intelligent enough to actually perform well as a governor?

And Carlm.......do you belong to the ultra-conservative, right wing group that hates minorities, is paranoid of your government, is sexist, is anti-public programs? You likely endorse Monsanto, factory farming, etc. have you stashed your gold and put up a year long store of food? Right wing nut case!
11:36 March 6, 2012 by frankiep
Maybe you should up the dosage of your medication....
17:39 March 6, 2012 by Eastard
"ya Wrong"... Carlm was not relaying an opinion... he was telling a HISTORICAL fact. Just because a person supports firing those refusing to work does not make them any of the things you suggest... I agree with frankiep that this may be a medication problem for you... Also, I have not seen any evidence of American's using Hitler as a management style comparison... That is clearly a European thing... so again you are improving history to make an incorrect point...
12:08 March 7, 2012 by milwaukeetomunich
Yah Right ......

Governor Walker is facing recall because the United States has become a culture of "if you don't get your way, whine about it." Every time I ask someone who is in favor of recalling Walker WHY they want him recalled, they have no answer. They're just caught up in the anger that's remained since the Union issue took place. The problem is that the ads against Walker on TV don't even mention the unions anymore!! You know why?? Because the decision WORKED! Governor Walker isn't even taking the recall that seriously because he knows he's doing a good job.

As for his education -- he left Marquette University one semester before graduation because he wanted to run in a local election. He left on his own because he couldn't put all of his energy into school and politics at the same time.

If people in Wisconsin are referring him to Hitler, it's embarrassing. I don't care how much you disapprove of someone's legislative decisions, to make those types of comparisons have no basis. And you should be ashamed of yourself for continuing the comparison. It's incredibly disrespectful.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd