Rail drivers stage walkout despite court ban

10th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 July 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Thousands of German locomotive drivers ignored a court injunction and staged a walkout on Tuesday to press their claim for a new wage contract with the national rail company Deutsche Bahn.

10 July 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Thousands of German locomotive drivers ignored a court injunction and staged a walkout on Tuesday to press their claim for a new wage contract with the national rail company Deutsche Bahn.

Leaders of the GDL drivers' union began their industrial action a day after Deutsche Bahn reached a pay agreement with two other unions who staged a series of strikes last week.

Commuter services in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg as well as regional and goods services ground to a halt when drivers began their three-hour stoppage at 8 am (0600 GMT).

Deutsche Bahn obtained an injunction banning the strikes, but the court order had not been delivered by the time the walkout started. Strikers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, halted their action after 30 minutes when they received a copy of the injunction.

The GDL union is seeking a pay hike of up to 31 per cent and a separate contract for the 20,000 Deutsche Bahn train drivers it represents, something the company has ruled out.

The GDL was not represented at talks on Monday when the larger Transnet and GDBA unions accepted a 4.5 per cent pay hike for their 134,000 members.

This was more than double the initial offer of 2 per cent made by Europe's largest rail network before the unions started industrial action that brought many services to a halt for three days last week.

A Deutsche Bahn spokesman said the company would consider seeking compensation from the drivers' union for ignoring the court order. The rail network said last week's stoppages cost it millions of euros per day.


DPA

Subject: German news

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