About 2,000 soldiers of the German Federal Forces Association, gathered in Koblenz on Tuesday (27 April) to demand more overtime pay.
CU Poster showing logo of the German Federal Forces Association.
SV Soldiers in civilian clothes at meeting.
GV Chairman of the Association (retired Colonel) Heinz Volland speaking from platform in German in Koblenz.
GV Audience applauding.
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Background: About 2,000 soldiers of the German Federal Forces Association, gathered in Koblenz on Tuesday (27 April) to demand more overtime pay. It was the first soldiers' demonstration in West German history. Following the organizers' request, the men donned civilian clothes for the occasion, to stress their protest was exclusively aimed at the government. The Association chairman retired-Colonel Heinz Volland said soldiers are entitled by law to overtime pay if they work more than 56 hours a week. The sum allocated by the government or overtime is 90 Deutschmarks (37 US dollars) per month for professional soldiers, and 54 Deutschmarks (22 US dollars) for conscripted servicemen. Most West German troops work about 50 hours a week; while around 17 per cent work up to 60 hours. The army claims there is not enough money to go around, while the forces association says almost 40,000 soldiers do not get an overtime allowance. Herr Volland claims the authorities are now reducing the men's working hours without cutting down on the amount of work to be done, or recruiting more staff.