German rail operator, union agree pay deal to end strike

BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s biggest rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, and a labour union representing train drivers said yesterday they have agreed on a pay raise to end a series of strikes that had caused chaos for commuters and vacationers over the summer.

The GDL union said it secured assurances over pensions, a raise of about 3.3 per cent over 32 months and plus two bonus payments of EUR800 to EUR1,000 (USD940-1,180) for each member during the period.

Union chief Claus Weselsky called the agreement “a good compromise” for both sides.

The deal was made possible with the help of two state governors following three strikes by GDL members in recent months.

The last strike in early September lasted a week and affected many travellers returning from summer vacation.

A person stands on an empty station platform at the main station in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO: AP