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In Germany, Ver.di Calls for Token Strike: More than 45,000 Workers Taking Part

13 April 2018
Photo: Daniel Pilar/Ver.di
There have been strikes in a total of eleven Länder and in nearly all federal and municipal public service sectors and institutions. On Friday 13 April too, work stoppages are taking place in many public service sectors and institutions.

“We are expecting a breakthrough in the third round of negotiations. With the buoyant tax revenues, there must be far more in it for public service workers than in past years,” ver.di President Frank Bsirske emphasised. “Pay rises should be achieved in all wage groups. The lower income groups especially need a significant boost.”

That’s why we’re striking

What do most citizens think of first when they are asked about the public service? Probably the town hall, citizens’ offices and refuse collection. However, the public service has far more to offer: caring for people, providing electricity and heat, driving buses and trams, taking care of our children, issuing passes or keeping roads clean, maintaining parks and city gardens, ensuring that airports run smoothly, providing protection and safety against crime, fire or disaster – that is only a tiny fraction of all the services provided by public service workers. In short: all public services that make life worth living!

We're worth it!

But at the same time, salaries are increasingly frequently falling by the wayside. Ver.di is calling for more pay in the public service. The argument of empty public coffers has been presented to us often enough. Now, however, they are filled to bursting and we expect recognition of our work through better pay. But even after two rounds of negotiations, there has been no offer from the employers to increase pay, only refusal. This is why thousands of workers up and down the country are taking part in token strikes.

It is not only children who rely on school buses who are affected by industrial disputes in the public service and also in other sectors, but also low-income users of local public transport who, for example, can’t get to see the doctor because they can’t afford a taxi. Business travellers and families too, who are looking forward to a long-distance trip, have to endure ver.di strikes at airports.

Our aim: decent pay for good work.

(with info from Ver.di website)

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