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Unions call more public sector staff to strike

The Local · 6 Mar 2012, 17:28

Published: 06 Mar 2012 17:28 GMT+01:00

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While Monday saw workers in western states of the country walk off the job, Tuesday was the turn of workers in northern states Hamburg, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, and Schleswig Holstein to push for a pay increase.

Public service union Verdi has been systematically mobilising employees in the sector to strike – the most disruptive of which so far were the repeated walkouts at Frankfurt airport.

On Wednesday, Verdi will summon workers in North Rhine-Westphalia to strike.

Verdi, Germany’s biggest public service union, is calling for a 6.5 percent pay rise for the two million people employed in the sector - or at least a raise of €200 per year.

Union head Frank Bsirske believes that the rate of pay in the public service sector does not match that of the private sector, and that the gap is widening. He called the difference “fatal for businesses and the attractiveness of a job in public service.”

In Hamburg alone, 2,000 people took part in strikes, particularly those in the council cleaning services and childcare.

Smaller strikes took place in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, as well as Baden-Württemberg.

“We plan on bringing public transport to a halt in Hannover on Thursday,” said Bsirske.

Story continues below…

Over 10,000 people have been protesting across Germany since Monday, a number set to increase through the week if the rest of planned warning strikes go ahead.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:02 March 6, 2012 by Dizz
If they are also willing to accept the lack of privileges, subsidies and security not to mention performance standards and personal accountability that differentiates them from the private sector then I say give them the pay rise.
22:27 March 6, 2012 by derExDeutsche
'Wir sind es Wert' How about we put it to a vote and let the German people decide.

These are the same goons we have here... in fact the man in this video Richard Trumka is the most frequent visitor to Obam's White House.

22:44 March 6, 2012 by Karl_Berlin
Just because everyone else is getting rogered doesn't mean they should have to.
05:58 March 7, 2012 by melbournite
Exactly. Unions only exist to help defend working people from being screwed by governments and bosses. It takes courage to strike. I'm 100% in support of them.
10:00 March 7, 2012 by Joshontour
What dizz and derEx seem to not understand is that these are public service employees and not government workers. Big difference. Public service employees work in Financial services, utilities and disposal, health, social services, welfare and churches, social insurance, education, science and research, arts and culture, printing and paper, industrial services and production, telecommunications, information technology, data processing, Postal services, forwarding companies and logistics, transportation, commerce, etc... I'm sure you want the people responsible for the weight and balance of the airplane on your next trip making minimum wage though,,, right?
10:27 March 7, 2012 by derExDeutsche

13:15 March 7, 2012 by William Thirteen
Striking is a time honored tradition!

14:33 March 7, 2012 by Joshontour
@ derExDeutsche... Do you really think that people who work in the public service sector don't deserve a raise. Public service... i.e.Tertiary sector.... i.e. People who sell their services to the public and not some end product... what don't you understand about that?
15:00 March 7, 2012 by derExDeutsche
@ Joshontour

Do you really believe that all that is going on in the Unions today is a demand for a 'Raise'? aww. ;.( ::sniff:: ? Well, If you didn't check the youtube link, there it is, what I propose is really going on. Just like in Greece, there is NOTHING Today's Unions respect other than their own power. They don't really care about what rights, liberties and/or sovereignty is lost. They don't care if the whole system collapses, in fact I make the argument that is exactly what they want. Cloward and Piven. what DO YOU not understand about that?
18:54 March 7, 2012 by Englishted
Nothing to lose but their chains .
12:31 March 8, 2012 by Joshontour
derExDeutsche... You made the argument in your first post that these are government workers, and they're not. You can split hairs and say you didn't but why else should we put it up for a vote. Maybe we should put it up for a vote when you want a raise too. Unions in the US such as SEIU have NOTHING to do with unions in Germany, we have a completely different labor system. You'd have to be an idiot to think otherwise (oh.. wait)
18:18 March 8, 2012 by yellowsack
Why should i not strike i live on less money than people on social security i have to pay for my rent gas ect .And i work bloody hard for it in all weathers i take home 1200 euros less than my mate that is in a nice warm factory and work 5 hours a week more than him and i would be interested to know about all these bonuses and perks ect what so many people have been talking about recently
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