A third day of public sector strikes in Germany spread to the country’s most populous state on Wednesday.
Several cities including Dusseldorf, Cologne and Bonn saw most public transport come to a grinding halt.
Amid a booming economy, compared to the rest of Europe, Germany’s public sector unions said workers’ pay has not kept up with the private sector. Their demands include a 6.5% or a minimum 200 euro a month increase.
“Employers need to realise that they should have made a serious offer last week (during negotiations) and not just pretended to negotiate, said Bernd Riexinger, from the public sector union Verdi.
“People are angry, because they thought they would get a reasonable increase. Now management need to do their homework for the next round.”
Strikers hoped they can influence negotiations that are due to take place early next week.
They said they wanted to put employers and the general public on notice that there will be more walk-outs to come if their demands aren’t met.