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Public sector strikes to sweep Germany

The Local · 24 Mar 2014, 12:53

Published: 24 Mar 2014 12:53 GMT+01:00

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A second round of strikes by rubbish collectors, bus drivers, teachers and nurses will continue across the country this week, service workers' union Verdi announced.

On Monday, workers in Brandenburg and parts of Baden-Württemberg kick-started the renewed strike action.

Public sector employees in Lower Saxony, Bremen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hesse are set to follow suit on Tuesday, with further states including North Rhine-Westphalia joining from Wednesday onwards.

Public transport is due to be disrupted in some areas. In North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday and Thursday almost the entire bus and tram service is set to shut down, a Verdi spokesman told Rheinische Post on Monday.

Meanwhile, workers at Cologne-Bonn airport are due to join the strike later this week, leading to possible flight disruptions.

Clinics, job centres, nurseries, old peoples' homes and public swimming pools will also be affected by the end of the week, the union said.

Two days of discussions in Potsdam last week had attempted to solve a dispute over pay rises, but ended last Friday without reaching an agreement.

"The discussions were constructive and there were a few points of convergence. But in the important questions the positions are still far removed from each other," said Verdi head Frank Bsirske in the statement.

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Verdi, together with child-care workers' union GEW and the DBB union are demanding a pay increase for members of €100 plus 3.5 percent, as well as unlimited training contracts and an increase of €100 a month on training salaries.

Negotiations over pay are set to continue on March 31st in Potsdam.

SEE ALSO: Karstadt stores hit by mass strike

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