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German train drivers agree not to strike for another month

German train drivers agree not to strike for another month

A union representing German train drivers has agreed not to call a strike before the end of September while it tries to end a pay dispute with the national railway, negotiators said Tuesday.
After two weeks of mediation by a pair of veteran conservative politicians, The GDL union said it would not call out its members before Sept. 30 in its bitter dispute with railway operator Deutsche Bahn AG.
Deutsche Bahn agreed in return to negotiate with GDL on a deal that union chairman Manfred Schell said he hoped would result in "substantial improvements" in both pay and working hours for drivers.
GDL originally sought a deal separate from other unions. However, two other unions will join the pay talks.
Mediators were called in earlier this month after GDL members voted to strike in support of the union's wage demands, threatening widespread disruption in the busy summer season. Deutsche Bahn responded by obtaining a series of injunctions to block walkouts.
GDL had sought a pay increase of up to 31 percent for its members, and has rejected a 4.5 percent raise that Deutsche Bahn agreed in July in talks with the two other unions, Transnet and GDBA.
GDL says the drivers currently earn about euro1,500 (US$2,050) per month after taxes, an amount it calls inadequate. The unions also have pointed to healthy earnings at Deutsche Bahn, which is preparing for partial privatization next year.


Updated : 2021-07-25 02:47 GMT+08:00