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Holiday disruptions loom as German rail workers seen preparing to go on strike from Monday

Reuters

Germany’s EVG railway workers’ union will start strikes on Monday that will hit local, regional and long-distance trains nationwide after wage talks with rail operator Deutsche Bahn broke down, two union sources said on Sunday.

One person familiar with the preparations told Reuters the union did not want to limit itself to just a few routes or one form of transport although some regions would be worse hit than others.

The union, which represents most railway industry workers and professionals, had said on Saturday that warning strikes would be unavoidable, raising fears that Christmas travel could be disrupted.

The EVG wants a 7.5 percent wage increase and has also made demands on working hours and holidays.

Deutsche Bahn, also in talks with the smaller train drivers’ union GDL, said it had offered a 5.1 percent wage rise in two stages and a one-off payment of €500 ($568.80). Overall, the package is equivalent to a 7 percent rise, it said. It has said the EVG decision to break off talks was causing a “completely unnecessary escalation” that will unsettle travelers over the Christmas period.

No one at the EVG union was available to comment.

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