In blow to vacationers, German train drivers call strike in escalating wage dispute
German train drivers voted to go on strike from Tuesday over a wage dispute, their union said, in a blow for summer vacationers and adding to logistics and supply woes already plaguing the industry.
The walkout will affect cargo trains from 7 pm (1700 GMT) on Tuesday, before extending to passenger traffic at 2 am on Wednesday, said the leader of the train drivers’ GDL union, Claus Weselsky.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Some 95 percent of union members had voted for the first round of industrial action, which is due to end on Friday.
“We intentionally chose this timeframe in the week to limit the impact on weekend and holiday traffic,” said Weselsky.
GDL argued that it was fighting for a better deal for train drivers. Among its demands are 1.4-percent pay hike and a bonus of 600 euros ($704) for 2021, and a further wage rise of 1.8 percent in 2022.
Train operator Deutsche Bahn had offered to phase in a 3.2-percent wage increase in two steps but the two parties were unable to agree on when the hikes would apply.
DB condemned the call for industrial action, saying that it was a “slap in the face” for passengers at a time when huge efforts were already being made to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Besides suffering losses on shrinking passenger traffic during the Covid-19 health emergency, Deutsche Bahn was also struggling to rebuild kilometres of tracks destroyed by deadly floods that struck western Germany in mid-July.
Read more: Germany’s cabinet meets to approve financial aid to rebuild flood-ravaged areas
Germany’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign prevented 38,000 deaths, 706,000 cases: StudyGermany’s mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign has prevented 38,000 deaths in the last six months and a half, according to a study by the country’s ... Coronavirus
Germany explosion in industrial park kills two, several missingAn explosion in a German industrial park on Tuesday killed at least two people and injured 31, setting off a fierce blaze that sent a pall of smoke ... World News
Germany set to tighten traveler entry rules due to COVID-19: ReportGermany is preparing to tighten requirements for people entering the country by making travelers from any country provide a negative coronavirus test ... Coronavirus
Merkel aide fears COVID-19 cases will soar in Germany over coming weeksGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff fears the number of new coronavirus cases will soar in the next few weeks and could hit 100,000 a day ... Coronavirus
Germany’s cabinet meets to approve financial aid to rebuild flood-ravaged areasGermany’s Cabinet met Wednesday to decide on a package of immediate aid for victims of last week’s floods and consider longer-term plans to rebuild ... World News
Germany hopes for EU money to rebuild infrastructure damaged by floodsThe German government aims to rebuild government-owned infrastructure damaged by the floods in the western part of the country as quickly as possible ... World News
Death toll from heavy floods in Germany rises to 81: AuthoritiesAuthorities in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate said Friday that 50 people have died in devastating floods in the western state, bringing the national ... World News