Mass train cancellations due to German drivers' strike

15th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn said that over two-thirds of its long-distance train services were cancelled Wednesday due to a new walkout by drivers.

"Thirty percent of long-distance services will be upheld, 70 percent will be cancelled," a Deutsche Bahn spokeswoman told AFP.

The GDL union has called a strike starting from 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Wednesday until 4:00 am (0200 GMT) on Thursday to increase the pressure on management in gridlocked wage talks.

Deutsche Bahn said preparations were underway for the resumption of services on Thursady, but "there will certainly be delays in the early hours," the spokeswoman said.

Regional services would also be affected.

GDL is calling for a five percent wage hike and a shorter working week of 37 hours and has complained that there had been no substantial negotiations with management so far on those demands.

Deutsche Bahn's labour chief Ulrich Weber slammed the renewed industrial action as "inconsiderate and impudent" since the two sides had only just agreed to resume talks.

"The GDL union is unwilling to cooperate with anyone," Weber said.

Separately, pilots of Germanwings, the low-cost subsidiary of airline Lufthansa, announced a 12-hour walk out on Thursday in the sixth strike since the end of August over a dispute surrounding retirement benefits.

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© 2014 AFP

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