German railway union announces new strike over wages

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BERLIN  (Reuters) – Germany’s railway union EVG announced a new 50-hour strike to take place from Sunday to Tuesday as wage talks with state train operator Deutsche Bahn and around 50 other rail companies drag on without a resolution.

The walkout – set to start at 2000 GMT on Sunday and end at 2200 GMT on Tuesday – will be the latest in a wave of industrial action in several European countries as a cost of living crisis eats into incomes.

EVG said another strike was “unavoidable” as progress on talks had been too slow. Deutsche Bahn expressed frustration at the move, calling it “disproportionate” because it had tried to move closer to EVG’s demands and raised its wage offers.

It follows a nationwide strike by rail workers in April that paralysed much of the network and coincided with walkouts at German airports by members of another union.

The EVG, which is negotiating on behalf of 230,000 workers, including 180,000 at Deutsche Bahn, is seeking a 12% wage increase, or at least an additional 650 euros ($715) per month.

Deutsche Bahn has offered 10% for lower and middle income workers and 8% for higher earners, but would phase in these increases over time.

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

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