Germany’s GDL Train drivers union has begun its biggest strike yet as it continues a dispute with Deutsche Bahn over pay and negotiating rights.
negotiation is not an end in itself
The strike started Monday afternoon for freight and for passengers it is from 2am Tuesday CET.
Services will be disrupted until 9am Sunday.
The union headed by Claus Weselsky, is pushing for a five percent pay rise, a reduction of hours from 37 to 39 and the right to represent other employees such as stewards.
Weselsky said: “Our members and the negotiating committee say it loud and clear: negotiation is not an end in itself.
“The Deutsche Bahn had plenty of opportunities to produce results. That is to say: without results there is no re-entry into the negotiations.”
This is the eighth such action by the smaller of Germany’s two rail unions and it will effect millions of people.
Reaction on social media has been mixed.
Some called the union leader a tyrant saying he was holding the country to ransom.
Others showed more affection for Weselsky saying he is a punk rocker in Angela Merkel’s CDU Party.