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Strike to bring German rail travel to standstill on Friday

Strike to bring German rail travel to standstill on Friday

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 16:58 GMT+7
Strike to bring German rail travel to standstill on Friday
ICE high-speed trains are parked in a depot of German railway company Deutsche Bahn during a nationwide strike called by the German trade union Verdi over a wage dispute in Hamburg, Germany, March 27, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Commuters in Germany face widespread disruption on Friday after the EVG rail and transport union announced a nationwide strike during the busy morning hours, affecting national operator Deutsche Bahn.

The strike, which coincides with a separate walkout at three airports, involves 50 rail companies and will run from 3 a.m. (0100 GMT) until 11 a.m. (0900 GMT), EVG said.

"Not a single train will run (in the country)," EVG representative Cosima Ingenschay said.

Another union representative, Kristian Loroch, threatened a multi-day strike in the future unless employers improved their offer.

Deutsche Bahn said the strike would have a massive impact on the country's rail network.

"The EVG has completely lost its sense of proportion and is only bent on chaos," Deutsche Bahn board member for human resources Martin Seiler said. He said the strike would also affect long-distance trains and its impact would continue after the action ends.

High inflation in Europe's largest economy has prompted strikes in recent months as workers demand higher pay to offset the rising cost of living.

The Verdi union has also called on security control workers to strike at three airports on Thursday and Friday, with Hamburg Airport saying all departures would be cancelled as a result.

The EVG, which is negotiating on behalf of 230,000 workers, is seeking a 12-percent wage increase, or at least an additional 650 euros per month.

The state-owned Deutsche Bahn has offered 5% more and one-off payments of up to 2,500 euros.

Another round of wage negotiations between the both sides will take place next Tuesday.

Reuters

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