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German train drivers to go on summer strike over wages


Germany’s GDL train drivers’ union said on Tuesday it would call on its members to go on strike over the summer after wage talks with rail operator Deutsche Bahn collapsed.

It gave no details on when industrial action would start but the move comes as demand for rail travel is set to boom with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions and start of school holidays.

“We wanted to negotiate and reach an agreement, but Deutsche Bahn has again refused,” said GDL Chairman Claus Weselsky in a statement, adding that Deutsche Bahn wanted to impose worse working time regulations.

The GDL originally demanded a 4.8% pay rise but has modified that, saying it wants a deal similar to that agreed for public sector workers.

However, state-owned Deutsche Bahn says the GDL’s total demand amount to much more than what was agreed with the public sector.

Deutsche Bahn has already agreed with the larger rail and transport union on a pay rise of 1.5% from the beginning of 2022 with no increase this year and wants a similar agreement with the GDL.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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