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German teachers, other public service workers, stage more strikes in wage dispute

German public service workers join al rally in a bid to receive higher wages and preserve pension benefits in Kiel, northern Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The ver.di union said teachers and other public employees including police and firefighters walked off the job in multiple states in Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Carsten Rehder)

German public service workers join al rally in a bid to receive higher wages and preserve pension benefits in Kiel, northern Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The ver.di union said teachers and other public employees including police and firefighters walked off the job in multiple states in Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Carsten Rehder)  (The Associated Press)

German public service workers are on strike again as their union seeks to increase pressure on the government ahead of a new round of wage negotiations next week.

Following one-day strikes in six German states Wednesday, the ver.di union said teachers, hospital workers and others in public sector jobs in four other states went on strike Thursday. Short-term "warning strikes" are a common union tactic in Germany and more were planned for Friday.

Some 56,000 workers participated in the labor action Wednesday but the union said it did not immediately know how many were involved Thursday.

The union says it's seeking a minimum 5.5 percent pay increase and is fighting against a plan to reduce pension benefits by 20 percent.

The union says so far it has received no counter-offer.