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Municipal workers in Germany begin rolling pay strikes as unions condemn rising arms spending

GERMAN social services and education workers began rolling strikes on Monday ahead of a new round of pay negotiations on May 16, warning the government not to spend money on arms that should go to raise wages and address climate change.

Hundreds of striking social workers paraded through the streets in what the Ver.di general union regional secretary Tjark Sauer called “a spirited atmosphere.” 

The union says the striking workers have “high expectations and high stamina.”

Ver.di chairman Frank Werneke slammed the German government for allocating €100 billion (£84bn) to upgrade the armed forces and raising the military budget to Nato’s preferred minimum of 2 per cent of GDP in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Our goal must remain a world with fewer weapons,” Mr Werneke told a May Day rally.

“We don’t want a new arms race at the expense of urgently needed investments in social affairs, education and climate protection.”

Staff at daycare centres and schools will walk out on Wednesday and care workers on Thursday.

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