50-hour strike starts late Sunday, German rail traffic faces disrupting
German transport union EVG on Thursday called a new round of strikes on the country’s rail network as workers demand higher wages to cope with high rates of inflation. With a 50-hour warning strike, the Railway and Transport Workers’ Union (EVG) wants to bring all rail traffic in Germany largely to a standstill starting Sunday evening.
From 10 p.m. Sunday until the night of Tuesday to Wednesday at midnight, there will be no long-distance, regional and freight traffic, the EVG announced.
Deutsche Bahn called the planned strike “completely unjustified and completely excessive,” with executive board member Martin Seiler saying that “the EVG wants to paralyse the country for an unbelievable 50 hours instead of seeking compromise.”
Deutsche Bahn said the strike would have “a massive impact on all German rail operations” and a “considerable impact on freight traffic throughout Europe”.
It follows a nationwide strike by rail workers in April that paralysed much of the network and coincided with walkouts at German airports by members of another union.
EVG represents 230,000 workers across some 50 transport companies, including 180,000 at the national rail operator Deutsche Bahn, is seeking a 12% wage increase, or at least an additional €650 per month.
Deutsche Bahn has offered 10% for lower and middle-income workers and 8% for higher earners, but would phase in these increases over time.