Germany’s train system grinds to a halt as workers strike over pay dispute

  • All main lines were disrupted during Monday peak hour, said operator Deutsche Bahn
  • Workers are demanding a 7.5 per cent salary rise for some 160,000 employees
PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 December, 2018, 3:40am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 December, 2018, 9:47pm

All main railway lines in Germany were disrupted Monday due to a strike by rail workers to press their claim in wage negotiations, operator Deutsche Bahn said.

“Regional links are interrupted throughout” the country due to a four-hour strike which began at 5am, the railway company said in a statement. A spokesman told AFP it affected high speed trains as well as the intercity services.

The strike is expected to last the morning peak hour, until 9am.

Pay negotiations between Deutsche Bahn and the EVG railworkers’ union, demanding a 7.5 per cent salary rise for 160,000 employees, ended without agreement on Saturday.

“The employer made offers which did not correspond to the demands of our members,” said EVG negotiator Regina Rusch-Ziemba.

But the railway operator in a statement described the strike as “completely futile” saying its offer was “attractive and met the main demands” of employees.

German news agency DPA said Deutsche Bahn invited the union to new talks on Monday afternoon.