German train drivers to strike

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Germany freight train drivers were due to go on strike later on Wednesday, followed by their passenger train colleagues early on Thursday morning, the GdL trade union said.

The strike over pay and conditions was due to begin on the freight network at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) and on passenger trains around the country from 4:00 am (0300 GMT), lasting until 10:00 am (0900 GMT), the GdL said.

The industrial action was an attempt to get national rail operator Deutsche Bahn and its private competitors to "put an offer on the table at last that can be the basis for talks," GdL boss Claus Weselsky said.

The union, representing 75 percent of Germany's 26,000 train drivers, is pushing for a salary increase for Deutsche Bahn employees and for uniform pay practices at the former monopoly and at competitors.

Following a series of warning strikes in recent days, more than 90 percent of members voted for an unlimited stoppage last weekend.

© 2011 AFP

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