German train drivers' union calls a six-day strike starting Wednesday over pay, working hours

BERLIN — A union representing many of Germany’s train drivers called Monday for another strike to press its demands for better pay and working hours in a bitter dispute with the country’s state-owned main railway operator.

The GDL union said the six-day strike will affect passenger services operated by state-owned Deutsche Bahn from 2 a.m. on Wednesday until 6 p.m. on Monday. Freight trains will be hit starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The union held a three-day strike earlier this month and two warning strikes last year which lasted up to 24 hours.

In addition to pay raises, the union is calling for working hours to be reduced from 38 to 35 per week without a pay reduction, a demand which Deutsche Bahn has so far refused.

GDL argues that it would make working for the railway more attractive and help attract new recruits, while Deutsche Bahn says the union’s demands aren’t practical.

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