So far, only individual groups of employees have gone on strike on individual days, Werneke told the portal. That could change: “It is clear to everyone that we are able – if that should become necessary – to expand our activities in every respect.”

The President of the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA), Welge, had previously criticized Werneke’s conduct of the negotiations in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “Unfortunately, I’m gradually getting the impression that Verdi boss Frank Werneke is more interested in further labor disputes,” said the negotiator. “However, such an escalation would be inconsiderate towards the citizens of this country.”

Welge said it was time for the collective bargaining partners to finally come up with a joint result: this was necessary “to protect the country and the population from further widespread strikes”.

Money is tight, Welge warned. The original trade union demands of 10.5 percent more wages plus a minimum of 500 euros would cost municipal employers a total of 15.4 billion euros. “The offer we made in the second round of negotiations was almost EUR 12 billion,” said Welge. The options discussed in the third, failed round of negotiations on Thursday night would have significantly exceeded this volume.

Werneke accused the negotiating partners on Saturday of publicly naming different numbers than in the negotiations: at the negotiating table there was talk of an offer of seven percent tariff plus, eight percent were then publicly mentioned. “The one percent then apparently came on the way from the negotiating table to the microphones,” said Werneke – and added: “The eight percent that are now in the room are now also the starting point for the arbitration process.”

If the outcome of the envisaged arbitration and the subsequent renewed negotiations are not sufficient, Verdi will “ask the members in a ballot about further industrial action,” said Werneke. This is “the normal procedure”.