German rail strike losses at 75 million euros

18th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - An engine drivers' strike that halted German freight trains for 62 hours last week caused losses estimated to total 75 million euros (110 million dollars) to the German economy, according to economists. The newspaper Bild am Sonntag said Sunday the figure includes the lesser losses caused by passenger-service cancellations. The estimate was calculated by the DIW economic-research institute in Berlin. The strike was called by the GDL, a small union, seeking a better deal fo

18 November 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - An engine drivers' strike that halted German freight trains for 62 hours last week caused losses estimated to total 75 million euros (110 million dollars) to the German economy, according to economists.

The newspaper Bild am Sonntag said Sunday the figure includes the lesser losses caused by passenger-service cancellations. The estimate was calculated by the DIW economic-research institute in Berlin.

The strike was called by the GDL, a small union, seeking a better deal for drivers than contracts previously accepted by two larger railways unions, which also have clerical and engineering members.

The GDL's campaign has angered Germany's Social Democratic party, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition.

Kurt Beck, the SPD chairman, told Bild am Sonntag the strike was a threat to Germany's pay-bargaining system where unions negotiate in blocs.

"If it came about that every enterprise had a range of different collective labour contracts, the outcome would be great insecurity and instability," he said.

The drivers' union, which has warned that its next strike may have no time limit, says it will not resume talks unless the railways company, Deutsche Bahn, speaks to the GDL alone and excludes the other two unions from the accord.

It insisted Sunday it would also not return to the negotiating table unless Bahn raised its pay offer to drivers. GDL deputy chairman Claus Weselsky told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa he was not aware of any higher offer yet.

GDL has set Bahn an ultimatum to file a better offer by the end of Monday.

DPA

Subject: German news

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