August 30, 1990 |
Tens of thousands of public service workers staged wildcat strikes for better pay across East Germany on Wednesday, clogging city centers with convoys of honking ambulances, garbage trucks and fire engines. Public transport, hospitals, water and fire services came to a standstill for two hours in the largest protest so far by workers in the 1.6-million-strong East German service sector. The stoppage indicated growing disillusionment with the German unification process.
August 18, 1990 |
The woman in aquamarine eyeliner sneaks past the security guard and clicketyclacks up four flights of stairs in her stilettos. She enters a lunchroom where half a dozen dour workers puff on cigarettes. They smile when they see her. She makes her delivery, passing little white bags around the table. Everyone peeks inside each others' bags. They nod approvingly. The woman collects her money and takes new orders.
August 15, 1990 |
More than 5,000 East German farmers and forestry workers drove tractors, combines and logging trucks into West Berlin to demand higher wages and job security, but the Bonn government said that rapid raises could slow economic recovery as the socialist system is converted to Western-style capitalism. The farmers and lumber workers said they would start a nationwide strike today.
August 4, 1990 |
The race toward German unification took a surprise shortcut Friday when leaders of the two nations called joint elections for Oct. 14 in a bid to stave off devastating economic collapse in the East. "A dream is becoming reality," declared West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, vacationing in Austria, after his East German counterpart, Lothar de Maiziere, proposed an all-German vote nearly two months earlier than scheduled.
July 7, 1990 |
East and West Germany opened talks Friday on a final unification treaty as more than 120,000 East German industrial workers staged strikes in a dramatic surge of labor unrest over fears of unemployment in the newly united German economy, union officials said. Several thousand workers have walked out every day this week in search of job guarantees and hefty pay hikes. But Friday's action raised discontent to a new pitch.
June 29, 1990 |
It was an hour after official closing time for the town's only bank, yet 14 weary souls waited quietly in the cheap fluorescent glare as the lone teller labored on. In calmer times, everyone here would have long since been home, the bank's manager, Martina Bengsch, admitted, and she would occasionally see her infant daughter before she went to sleep. But for East Germany, these are not calm times.