German postal workers on warning strikes for higher wages | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 17.04.2013
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German postal workers on warning strikes for higher wages

Postal workers in a number of German states have gone on warning strikes for higher wages. Trade unions failed to reach a deal with employers in a second round of bargaining on Tuesday.

Deutsche Post mail delivery workers went on warning strikes on Wednesday morning, with industrial action being spread across a number of states, including Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate.

The strikes had been called for by service-sector union Verdi, which had been unsuccessful in striking an agreement with the postal operator's management in two previous rounds of negotiations.

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Verdi wants the 132,000 employees on Deutsche Post contracts to get a 6-percent pay rise, but at least 140 euros ($184) more per month.

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"We have to ratchet up the pressure on the employer now," Verdi negotiator Andrea Kocsis said in a statement, adding that she expected to push through the union's demands in the next round of bargaining talks due on April 25.

Union officials said while it was mail delivery workers starting the warning strikes, they were likely to be joined by other postal workers. In the state of Lower Saxony, sorters and office workers already laid down tools on Wednesday.

The work stoppages in 17 German cities and regions are resulting in millions of letters and parcels not being delivered to households in time. So far, Deutsche Post negotiators have shown no sign of offering workers an upgraded deal that would also improve the situation of trainees.

hg/jr (dpa, AFP)

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