German municipal transport faces strike on Friday, led by union, youth movement

BERLIN (Reuters) - German union Verdi and youth movement, Fridays for Future, jointly called for strikes to disrupt municipal transport in six German states on Friday to demand better pay and conditions and a review of transportation policies.

Verdi Deputy Chair Christine Behle on Tuesday referred to a recent wage increase offer from federal and municipal employers as "a slap in the face for the employees" and "an unparalleled provocation."

"The employees will not put up with this and will now step up their fight for their demands," she said in a statement, adding that these included better wages and conditions, as well as sustainable investment in municipal public transport by the states and the federal government.

The states affected by the strike are Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony. While strikes are not uncommon in Germany's public transport system, it is unusual for so many states to be involved at one time.

Fridays for Future joined Verdi in calling for a strike on Friday, saying that its own protest for an overhaul of transport policies would extend to 200 locations.

The youth movement is calling on the government to adhere to the climate targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement, arguing that massive investments in new autobahn projects should be stopped and redirected to low-emission alternatives.

On Monday, flights ground to a halt at two German airports after Verdi called for a 24-hour strike.

(This story has been refiled to correct a typo in the headline)

(Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Matthias Williams and Sharon Singleton)