Beverage company workers in East Germany protest due to wage disparities

Despite more than 30 years since the reunification of the country, employees in eastern Germany continue to receive considerably lower salaries compared to their western German colleagues


Employees at a beverage company located in eastern Germany, known for producing popular drinks like vita cola, recently initiated a strike. Their primary grievance stems from the stark salary disparity that persists even after more than 30 years since the reunification of Germany. Compared to their counterparts working for the parent company in western Germany, the eastern German employees continue to receive significantly lower wages.

The strike occurred at Waldquelle in Schmalkalden, situated in Thuringia. Around seventy workers participated, effectively halting the production of various beverages, including mineral waters, lemonades, and vita cola, which bears a resemblance to coca-cola.

A trade union representative has revealed that workers at the beverage company in Thuringia earn 195 euros ($211) less per month than their colleagues at the parent company, Hassia, based in Hesse state. Furthermore, these employees are obligated to work an additional two hours each week. Moreover, the projected inflation compensation bonus for the Waldquelle workforce falls nearly 1,000 euros short in comparison to the benefits provided at the parent company.

Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, salaries in the eastern region, previously under communist rule, were considerably lower than those in the western part of the country. Despite efforts to bridge the income gap, employees in former East Germany continue to face lower wages and a comparatively lower standard of living.

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