German train drivers announce second strike within a week | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 05.09.2014
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German train drivers announce second strike within a week

Continuing their fight for higher wages and better working conditions, train drivers organized in the German GDL union say they will launch a warning strike on Saturday morning. It's the second such strike in a week.

German train drivers belonging to the GDL union announced Friday they'd resume their industrial action against rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Saturday. GDL officials said a warning strike would take place on Saturday morning and continue for three hours.

They said the strike would affect long-distance and regional trains, but also the suburban rail networks in Berlin and Hamburg plus freight trains across the country.

The strike is set to cause problems for many homecoming holidaymakers from the German states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, where children have to be back at school on Monday.

What's really behind the strike?

GDL chief Claus Weselsky said Deutsche Bahn had been refusing to negotiate about higher wages and other union demands in a "constructive fashion." The union said this left train drivers with no other option than to ratchet up the pressure with another strike, following a similar one last Monday.

Watch video 03:50

Training train drivers

Deutsche Bahn for its part called the GDL's announcement "completely irrational," adding it would not bring the negotiating parties closer together.

It also said the strike action was not geared to getting a 5-percent wage hike, but also reflected the GDL's bitter fight with rival union EVG over representation rights.

Deutsche Bahn slammed GDL officials for once again not providing any detailed information upfront as to exactly which trains would be affected, meaning travelers could only be informed about cancellations and possible alternative services after the strike started.

hg/sgb (dpa, AFP)

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