Why this story matters:
In Berlin, Dusseldorf, Mannheim, Wiesbaden -- to name just a few of the cities on strike -- thousands of German workers are holding signs with slogans like:
"Only Batman can work for free!" or "We are not paid enough!"
The strikes started on Tuesday and are scheduled to continue until Friday. According to the multi-industry union Ver.di, the strikes are meant to warn the German government: if public authorities refuse to give the workers the 6% pay rise they're demanding, the strike will expand dramatically next week.
It is hard to predict the potential scale of the conflict at the moment, but it is safe to to say that Germans travelers and parents were already significantly inconvenienced by striking airports and kindergartens. If no agreement is reached by Friday, Germany risks a scenario similar to the current labor conflicts in France.
Fortunately, Germany's plight is not as far-reaching as that of its Western neighbor; this is only a wage dispute, not an attempt to overhaul the entire public sector. However, there will be no easy way out, since a 6% pay rise is well above what most federal states say they can afford.
Details from the story:
- The strikes began on Tuesday, delaying hundreds of flights all over Germany
- Ver.di, a union federation, is demanding a 6% pay rise for public workers, but would also agree to a lump raise of 200€ per month.
- The union federation has approximately 2.3 million members.
- "Warning" strikes will continue until Friday April 13, and could continue next week if no agreement is reached.