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German train drivers call week-long strike

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 06:56

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Train drivers for German rail operator Deutsche Bahn announced a week-long strike to start Monday, their eighth work stoppage in 10 months of bitterly contentious wage negotiations.

[BERLIN] Train drivers for German rail operator Deutsche Bahn announced a week-long strike to start Monday, their eighth work stoppage in 10 months of bitterly contentious wage negotiations.

The drivers' union GDL on Sunday called on workers to down tools from 3:00 pm Monday (1300 GMT) for freight and 2:00 am Tuesday for passenger trains, with the strike to end for both services 9:00 am on May 10.

After fresh talks failed to find an agreement GDL had warned on Wednesday of a "long strike". Its 43-hour walkout late last month led to the cancellation of two thirds of long-distance trains.

GDL has been locked in a bitter dispute with management primarily focused on the employees it wants to represent, but also on wages and working hours.

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In September and October GDL called six other strikes, which Deutsche Bahn said cost the company 150 million euros (S$223.4 million).

Deutsche Bahn employs a workforce of 300,000, including 196,000 in Germany and transports around 5.5 million passengers in Germany every day.

AFP

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