Public service workers in parts of Germany walked out on strike today in a dispute over pay. The ver.di union wants a 6.5% increase this year for 2 million federal and municipal government employees. Last week, it rejected an offer of a 3.3% increase over two years, saying it would not even keep pace with inflation.
Joining today's strike in cities across the north, primarily in Lower Saxony and Bremen, were rubbish collectors, kindergarten teachers, bus drivers and others. Strikes are planned tomorrow in Bavaria, Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg, and on Wednesday in North Rhine-Westphalia to increase pressure ahead of the next round of pay talks scheduled for March 28 and 29.