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Germany: train strike causes chaos for commuters

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Germany: train strike causes chaos for commuters


Train drivers in Germany have begun a four-day walkout. Their union is calling for a five per cent pay increase and shorter working hours for its drivers.

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn wants a court order to stop the GDL union from striking until Monday morning.

Georg Kempinskie wanted to travel home to Halle on Thursday and it is the second time that his journey has been affected by the rail strike.

He said he was concerned it would hinder people from joining festivities on Sunday, when Germany marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“I think it is really rude that the rail strike continues until Sunday when the 25th anniversary takes place. It is a special day and it is not the right time for the union to show off. There are a lot of opportunities to express their problems but it shouldn’t be at such an important day,” he said.

Not everyone is complaining, though. One car hire company took out a full page ad refering to the union leader as “employee of the month.”

“Even in Switzerland an in the area of Basel, in Lörrach, I wasn’t able to rent a car,” explained one commuter.

“That’s why I had to fly to Frankfurt and from here I will drive back to Göttingen with a rental car. Everything is really nasty,” he added.

Even Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to the train drivers’ “sense of responsibility.”

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn promised to run one third of passenger services during the strike.

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