Thousands of German state workers strike over pay

Thousands of German public sector workers went on strike to press for more pay during the worse economic downturn in decades.

Thousands of German state workers strike over pay

Thousands of German public sector workers went on strike on Tuesday to press for more pay during the worse economic downturn in decades, in action that affected transport and schools across the country.

Public transport ground to a halt in 10 cities across Bavaria, while schools, hospitals suffered walk-outs in northern Germany, service sector union Verdi said. Local authorities and schools were also affected in the east of the country, it added.

The government expects the German economy, Europe's largest, to contract by some 2.25 percent this year, which would easily be its poorest annual performance since World War Two. Some analysts have said it could shrink by up to 4 percent or more.

A Verdi spokesman in Bavaria said he expected 100 percent participation in the transport strikes, which would see around 3,000 join the stoppages. About 4,000 were expected to strike in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Verdi is leading negotiations for a raise of 8 percent for some 700,000 employees of federal states, and the settlement is due to be applied to around 1.3 million civil servants.

The separate pay demand for transport staff in Bavaria is higher, with the union pushing for a 9.5 percent raise.

Wage negotiations for the Bavarian workers are due to recommence on Thursday, while talks for the 700,000 are tabled for Feb. 14-15 in the city of Potsdam near Berlin.

Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2009, 16:22
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