The Ramstein Military Base in Germany is a major hub for arms trafficking around the world. Germany's social service workers are doing rolling strikes to protest military spending. | Wikipedia (CC)
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 centers and schools will walk out on Wednesday and care workers on Thursday.
Concern about spending on weapons in Germany extends also to the issue of nuclear weaponry. Germany is forced, under NATO rules, to spend money on training its people to use planes and other things to deliver and launch such weapons.
Officially, only two NATO members, the UK and France are nuclear powers but NATO has extended that list to include Germany and Belgium by massive storage of nuclear weapons ready to go in those countries.
The majority of nations in the world have signed onto the UN-negotiated Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The U.S. and NATO have actively prevented NATO member states, including Germany, from even entering those UN negotiations, let alone signing any such treaty. With NATO involved wars underway now in numerous countries, in addition to Ukraine, the pressure for Germany to increase its military spending is expected to increas will increase as will worker opposition to that spending.
At the same time the majority of nations in the world have signed up to the UN-negotiated Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Here again NATO has played a negative role and actively prevented NATO member states from entering the negotiations, let alone signing.
The Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.
This article was republished from People's World.