Union threatens to prolong Berlin transport strike

10th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Officials say it will continue into next week.

Berlin -- Striking Berlin transport workers threatened to prolong their shutdown of the capital's bus, tram and underground network to press their demand for more pay.

The service workers' union Verdi said the strike, which began March 4, would continue into next week and would not end on Friday as originally planned.

"The dispute has grown in intensity," a union spokesman said after a meeting of Verdi's collective bargaining commission. "The employers have not budged an inch."

The union is seeking a monthly pay increase of between 8 and 12 percent for its workers employed by the Berlin public transport operator BVG. The BVG has offered 6 percent spread over three years.

The capital's S-Bahn commuter train network, which is operated by the national rail company, Deutsche Bahn, is not involved in the dispute.

A looming nationwide rail strike was called off at the last moment on Sunday after the rail operator reached agreement with another union in a separate dispute over collective bargaining.

Minor disruptions were reported to regional and long-distance passenger services Monday morning as Deutsche Bahn moved from an emergency timetable it implemented for the planned strike back to a standard schedule.

On Sunday, the GDL union, which represents three-quarters of Germany's 20,000 train drivers, struck a deal with the rail company over relations with two other unions representing the bulk of the staff at the company.

DPA with Expatica

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