October 6, 2014 / 3:18 PM / 4 years ago

German train drivers announce rail strike soon

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s train drivers’ union GDL said on Monday it would hold a nationwide strike some time in the coming days, the latest step in its drawn out pay dispute with state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL].

The strike will be for an-as-yet undetermined period, but will not go on indefinitely.

GDL is seeking a 5 percent pay rise for train drivers and a shortening of their working week to 37 hours from 39 hours. The union is also seeking a mandate to negotiate for train guards and other personnel, something Deutsche Bahn has rejected.

Deutsche Bahn had proposed halting the pay dispute until the government had passed a law on standardised wages, which would see the wage deal for the union with the most members in a company apply. GDL has refused to wait.

“Train staff need protection from the excessive strain of overtime due to a lack of personel and need better employment conditions, if need be through strikes,” GDL said in a statement.

“That’s why in the next days the GDL will call for a temporary, nationwide strike.”

Reporting by Markus Wacket, writing by Annika Breidthardt Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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