Strikes shut down schools and offices across Berlin on Wednesday

The Local Germany
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Strikes shut down schools and offices across Berlin on Wednesday
In this archived photo, a poster from the German Education and Science Workers Union in Berlin calls for better pay. Image: DPA

With Berlin already preparing for Friday’s public transport strikes, schools, kindergartens and government offices across the city have been closed as demonstrations continue on Wednesday.


Each of Berlin’s administrative districts have been affected some way by the strikes, although the impact has been uneven.

Officials have confirmed that disruptions were set to affect hundreds of schools and kindergartens, while some registry and administrative offices across the city would also close or operate with a minimized staff. 

The demonstrations have continued in locations across the city as workers have argued for better pay and conditions. 

Officials told the Berlin Morgenpost that it was difficult to determine the extent of the strikes, as many workers had not informed their employers as to whether they’d decided to take strike action or not. Some had planned for workers to attend morning rallies before returning to work in the afternoon.

Schools and kindergartens across the city had prepared skeleton staffs to deal with emergencies, but had encouraged parents not to send their children to school without checking whether or not the school or kindergarten would be open and operating as usual. 

Officials have also encouraged people who do not already have appointments at the Bürgeramt (administrative offices) across the city were also encouraged to stay home.

The central registry office (Standesamt) in the district announced it would be limited only to providing death notices on Wednesday morning, with all other services closed as a result of strike action.

The closures have affected schools and kindergartens in all of the Berlin districts - Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Treptow-Köpenick, Pankow, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Mitte, Reinickendorf, Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Spandau - on Wednesday. 

Public transport strike set to go ahead on Friday

More strike action is planned for the German capital on Friday. As reported by The Local on Tuesday, the capital’s public transport network - the BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) - is set to take part in their first strike since 2012. 

All buses, trains, trams and ferries run by the BVG will not run from Friday morning until around noon as workers demonstrate for better pay and conditions. The BVG employs approximately 14,500 people across the city. 

The industrial action comes on the back of recent strikes at airports and kindergartens across Germany. 

Strikes by ground staff at Hamburg airport earlier in February led to the cancellation of over 60 flights. 

Strikes in January impacted airports in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Hanover, Bremen, Leipzig, Dresden and Erfurt. In Frankfurt alone upwards of 600 flights were cancelled. 

READ MORE: Which German airline passengers are entitled to compensation?

Kindergarten strikes in late January impacted many of the 276 state-owned kindergartens across the city. While Wednesday's strikes were less comprehensive, union officials refused to rule out further action if their demands were not met. 

SEE ALSO: Thousands of families affected as Berlin Kitas set for strike



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