The current warning strikes in the public sector this Wednesday mainly affect day-care centers and social institutions. In many cities in Germany, employees are to go on strike. The Verdi union wants to increase the pressure on local and federal employers.
In Bavaria, for example, the predominantly female employees in the social and educational services are called upon to go on warning strikes on International Women's Day. Munich, Augsburg and Schweinfurt are among those affected. In some cases, employees in clinics or city administrations are also to go on strike.
In other regions too, warning strikes are likely to hit families in particular. There are warning strikes in day care centers and social institutions in Lower Saxony and Bremen as well as in Saxony-Anhalt. In Saxony, too, workers in kindergartens and after-school care centers are called on to go on strike, for example in Dresden and Chemnitz. A Verdi spokesman recommended parents to contact their employers early on about a possible failure of childcare.
Numerous rallies are also planned. Yasmin Fahimi, Chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation, speaks in Hennigsdorf, north of Berlin, in Brandenburg. Further rallies are planned in Stuttgart, Mannheim, Hanover, Göttingen, Bremen, Dresden and Hamburg, among others.
The Association of Municipal Employers' Associations (VKA) criticized the call for a strike. The fact that daycare facilities are now being hit again shows that the unions are carrying out collective bargaining policy at the expense of parents and young families, said VKA President Karin Welge. There are likely to be further warning strikes before the expected decisive round of the ongoing collective bargaining dispute for the public sector at the end of March.
The warning strikes in the wage dispute have been going on for weeks. Among the highlights so far have been walkouts in local public transport in many cities throughout Germany, which Verdi had called for together with the climate activists from Fridays for Future. Work stoppages by municipal employees had also largely paralyzed Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn airports.
Members of thousands of different professions are affected by the collective bargaining - in addition to educators and bus drivers, employees of public baths, firefighters, nurses, administrative employees, geriatric nurses, sewage treatment plant workers, foresters and doctors, among others. Many members of these professional groups had already taken part in the strikes. In view of the high inflation, Verdi and the civil servants' association dbb are demanding 10.5 percent more wages. At least there should be 500 euros more for the approximately 2.5 million employees of the municipalities and the federal government.
The unions had rejected an offer from the employers in the most recent second round of negotiations as far too low. Since then, Verdi boss Frank Werneke had repeatedly pointed out the possibility of the negotiations failing.
Union and employer are far apart, said Werneke on Tuesday in Schwerin. With a view to the third round of negotiations at the end of March, he said: "In my view, it is completely open whether we will come to a conclusion or whether that is when we have to decide whether the negotiations will fail." In that case, Verdi will initiate the ballot. Further strikes would then be the result - then as enforcement strikes.