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Nationwide strikes continue into third day, paralyzing public services

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Nationwide strikes continue into third day, paralyzing public services
Local transport at a standstill on Thursday in Hanover. Photo: DPA
09:38 CEST+02:00
As workers’ union Ver.di ramped up its campaign for a pay hike for public workers, tens of thousands of federal and municipal employees stopped working for the third day in a row. From public transport to daycare centres, warning strikes occurred in several major German cities on Thursday.

Public transport in the Stuttgart area and in Lower Saxony were particularly hard hit on Thursday morning.

Stuttgart's trams and buses have been idle since the early morning. Only the S-Bahn has been running. Most daycare centres, several indoor swimming pools and municipal authorities will also be closed in the Baden-Württemberg capital on Thursday. Services at local hospitals will also be restricted.  

In Hanover, Braunschweig and Wolfsburg, buses and trains will not be operating all day due to the strike action - in spite of pupils having to take their Abitur examinations. In these three cities as well as in Peine, Salzgitter and Einbeck, most daycare centres will remain closed.

In Hamburg, city cleaning authorities are on strike, as confirmed by a spokesperson. Employees in childcare centres, theatres, port authorities as well as federal authorities, including customs and maritime agencies, have also stopped working.

Throughout the course of the day, people working in kindergartens, in city administration, building yards, municipal utilities, and other institutions in Schleswig-Holstein could also be following suit with Ver.di’s call for warning strikes.

The sluice in Brunsbüttel along the Kiel Canal - a federal government waterway - has also been closed, as confirmed by the German Press Agency’s (DPA) traffic centre.

At around noon on Thursday about 8,000 striking employees will be rallying in Hanover, according to Ver.di. The union’s boss Frank Bsirske is expected to attend. Another rally is also planned to take place in Hamburg.

The ongoing warning strikes are aimed to increased the pressure on public service employers shortly before the next round of wage talks scheduled for Sunday.

Ver.di, which represents 2.3 million public workers in the country, is asking for a six percent pay increase for public service workers from state and local governments, with a minimum increase of €200 each month.

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