German train drivers union to strike again on Friday

11th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2007, FRANKFURT (AFP) - The German train drivers' union GDL called Thursday for a nation-wide strike on Friday, hours before union leaders were to meet for talks with management of the national railway Deutsche Bahn.

11 October 2007

FRANKFURT (AFP) - The German train drivers' union GDL called Thursday for a nation-wide strike on Friday, hours before union leaders were to meet for talks with management of the national railway Deutsche Bahn.

"A strike is planned between 2:00 am and midnight, on regional and suburban lines," a union statement said.

The news came just a few hours before GDL chief Manfred Schell was to meet Deutsche Bahn chief Hartmut Mehdorn.

Schell was quoted by the mass circulation Bild newspaper in its edition to appear Friday as saying the strike would take place regardless of those talks, saying they were "purely informative discussions and do not change our plans."

He said inter-city and international services could also be hit indirectly, even though a German court banned GDL from striking on those lines.

"It is possible that long-distance traffic will also be affected, though not directly by our actions," Schell said.

Deutsche Bahn has offered GDL a better deal than that agreed upon earlier this year with rail workers' unions Transnet and GDBA, which will receive pay rises of 4.5 percent from the beginning of next year plus a one-time payment of 600 euros (850 dollars).

But the union has pressed for its own separate agreement securing a 31-percent pay rise and better starting salaries for new hires.

Other labour representatives have criticised GDL's go-it-alone tactics.

Thousands of the 8,000 drivers represented by the union stopped work for three hours during the rush hour last Friday, heavily disrupting rail traffic in a country where 10 million people a day take the train.

AFP

Subject: German news

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