Croatia teachers widen strike in demand for higher wages

Croatian teachers widen strike in demand for higher salaries and announce street protests

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatian teachers are widening an ongoing strike, making it nationwide in their demand for higher wages.

The strike has been held partially since last month, with classes halted in certain municipalities on particular days. Unions said Tuesday they are now launching a nationwide strike and that they also plan street protests.

One of the leaders, Branimir Mihalinec, said that more than 90% of teachers and other education employees have joined the strike. He called it “a struggle for dignity and (social) status.”

Croatian teachers say that their salaries lag behind other state employees.

Croatia’s economy suffered badly during the wars resulting from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Though the country joined the European Union in 2013, it is still struggling to catch up with Western Europe.