Business & Economy

Train drivers’ 2-day strike paralyzes German rail traffic

Berlin, Aug 11 (EFE).- A two-day strike called by the German train drivers’ union has paralyzed rail traffic throughout the country, where only 25% of long-distance trains are running and regional and commuter lines have also been seriously affected.

The slowdown in passenger transport began at 2am Wednesday morning, while freight transport stopped at 7pm Tuesday evening.

The strike will conclude in both sectors at 2am Friday.

On its website, the German railroad company Deutsche Bahn (DB) warned of “significant limitations” on regional and long-distance traffic for Wednesday and Thursday.

The minimum service plan for long-distance connections calls for 25 percent of the trains to run.

“Even so, we cannot guarantee in this situation that all travelers will reach their destination,” said the company, which recommends avoiding travel on those dates if it is not strictly necessary.

GDL leader Claus Weselsky called the proposal presented by German Railways in the collective agreement negotiations “unacceptable” on the morning show of public broadcaster ZDF, adding that the train drivers will only return to the negotiations table unless DB improves its offer.

The latest proposal from DB, hit by the coronavirus crisis and severe flooding in July in Germany which left more than 180 dead, consisted of wage increases in two stages: of 1.5% for January 1, 2022, and 1.7% for March 1, 2023 and until the end of June 2024.

The union is demanding an increase of 3.2 % to be implemented in the current year and is also demanding a pandemic bonus for train drivers. EFE


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