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Deutsche Bahn takes striking train drivers' union to court

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By Reuters
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BERLIN – Deutsche Bahn said it would take the German train drivers’ union GdL to court after it rejected an improved pay offer and stepped up industrial action with a strike that paralysed a large part of the country’s passenger traffic on Thursday.

The strike, the third and longest in the current wage dispute, has affected freight services since Wednesday afternoon and passenger traffic from early on Thursday. The strike is due to run until Tuesday.

“Deutsche Bahn is obliged to take action in the courts against the GdL’s strike in the interests of our customers,” the company said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the union seemed to be driven “more by politics” than a desire to improve work conditions.

GdL, which held two strikes in August, is demanding a 3.2% increase for drivers in addition to a coronavirus bonus of 600 euros ($711).

Deutsche Bahn said the improved offer it had made on Wednesday evening had included both the asked-for pay rise, a coronavirus bonus of up to 600 euros and a shortened collective agreement.

($1 = 0.8442 euros)