BERLIN – Hundreds of disgruntled workers turned out in Berlin on Thursday to protest against sweeping jobs cuts by manufacturing giant Siemens.
The technology company announced last week that it was going to slash around 6,900 jobs worldwide, half of which would be in Germany, where the firm is based.
“Siemens stays in Leipzig,” read one of the large banners held aloft by the crowd, which brought factory workers from across Germany to the country’s capital.
The leader of German’s Social Democrats (SPD), Martin Schulz, took the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the crowd sporting a red vest belonging to the German Metalworkers’ Union (IGM), the country’s dominant trade union.
Schulz is later due to speak with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is currently making the rounds of Germany’s political parties in a bid to reignite stalled coalition talks, which have brought the country closer to a repeat election.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s talks to form a coalition with the Liberals (FDP) and the Greens collapsed over the weekend.
Schulz, whose SPD flunked in the Sept. elections, announced his center-left formation would not seek a continuation of the grand coalition with Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).
If the CDU and the SDP decided to return to government, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) would become the main opposition party.