German Train Drivers To Strike In Pay Dispute

Frankfurt, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 15th Nov, 2023) German train drivers will stage a 20-hour strike starting late Wednesday after failing to reach agreement on pay increases, with rail chiefs criticising the walkout as “completely unnecessary”.

The GDL union announced members will strike from 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) Wednesday to 6:00 pm Thursday after demands for higher salaries and improved conditions were not met in talks.

“The discontent among the employees is significant, and their concerns are legitimate,” said GDL chairman Claus Weselsky, adding drivers and other workers represented by the union, including train attendants, had been called on to strike.

“Now is the time to achieve improvements, there can be no delay.”

It is the latest transport strike in Europe‘s biggest economy as workers push for higher salaries to cope with inflation that has surged over the past year.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s human resources chief Martin Seiler described the strike as “an imposition for rail passengers” and “completely unnecessary”.

It will have a massive impact on rail travel, the operator warned.

Deutsche Bahn said it had made an 11 percent pay offer in the opening round of talks, along with an “inflation compensation bonus” of up to 2,850 Euros.

The GDL had made demands that would hugely increase personnel costs, including working 35 hours a week over a four-day week, and hefty increases to bonuses, Deutsche Bahn said.

The union represents about 10,000 staff in its talks with Deutsche Bahn, according to the operator.

Earlier this year, a series of strikes by another transport union, EVG, on the rail network caused widespread disruption.
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