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German rail travellers face another day of havoc

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12 Aug 2021 3:14 AM GMT
German rail travellers face another day of havoc
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A strike by train drivers in Germany entered a second day on Thursday, with travellers facing another round of delays and cancellation of services across the country. The two-day strike was due to come to an end at 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Friday, but the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) has already warned that […]

A strike by train drivers in Germany entered a second day on Thursday, with travellers facing another round of delays and cancellation of services across the country.

The two-day strike was due to come to an end at 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Friday, but the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) has already warned that the nation could face further industrial action.

The union said the strike action would be over its demands for a pay rise that included a Coronavirus premium.

Under an emergency plan drawn up by the publicly owned German rail company Deutsche Bahn, only about 25 per cent of long-distance trains are currently operating.

The long-distance trains are allowed with about 40 per cent regional services forcing travellers to seek out alternative forms of transport.

The strike also hit the urban rail services operated by Deutsche Bahn in many Germany cities, causing havoc for commuters.

The industrial action came in the middle of the nation’s annual summer vacation period, as schools have closed for holidays in 11 of the nation’s 16 states.

Deutsche Bahn was hopeful that services would return to normal as quickly as possible once the strike ends on Friday night.

However, a survey published on Thursday by pollsters YouGov, found that 31 per cent of the German population were sympathetic to the train drivers’ strike action, which has been building up for months.

But 55 per cent of those surveyed told Yougov they had no sympathy for the strike, which the GDL announced shortly before its members began walking off the job.

The GDL had rejected a zero wage increase and, instead, is demanding a Coronavirus bonus and pay rise of 3.2 per cent during a 28-month period.

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