Germany is estimated to be losing 50 million euros a day as its biggest ever rail strike paralyses goods transport in much of the country. The train drivers’ walkout, now in its third day, has particularly hurt firms who rely on tightly-scheduled deliveries. With bottlenecks at the port in Hamburg, one logistics firm says it is diverting shipments to Rotterdam and Antwerp.
The strike in Europe’s biggest economy is due to end on Saturday but some union members say the grassroots want it to continue. However others feel the GDL union must take a considered approach over further steps. New strikes could be called as early as next Tuesday.
With passenger services also badly hit, the union has raised the prospect of open-ended industrial action over Christmas and the New Year, if its pay demands are not met. A 10 percent rise offered by rail operator Deutsche Bahn has already been rejected.