Rail services in Germany have been temporarily hit by strikes over equal pay, but are said to be slowly getting back to normal following the disruption.
Unions have called on both national operator Deutsche Bahn and Germany’s private rail companies to fix wages across the industry, claiming some firms pay up to 20 percent less for the same work.
Reiner Bieck from rail union TRANSNET said:“We are striking for a wage agreement for the whole sector, so that rail workers will have the same level of income, so that this type of competition, which affects the lives of our colleagues, will be brought to an end. We want fair competition.”
But Deutsche Bahn insists the problem isn’t with it but private operators who are not prepared to pay the same.
Ulrich Weber from Deutsche Bahn said:“We at Deutsche Bahn consider these strikes to be inappropriate. As far as we can see, they are aimed at our competitors, third parties so to speak, who so far have made insufficient proposals.’‘
Several states were affected by the stoppages, particularly western and southern parts of Germany.
No more action has been planned before Friday, but more misery for passengers looks likely with unions and operators for the moment unable to reach a deal.