Big strike on German railways: Train mechanics decided to strike for a week in Germany. Freight transportation will stop for 7 days, passenger transportation for 6 days.
The strike of the Train Machinists Union (GDL) will begin today at 15:00 with the stop of train services in freight transport. Passenger transportation will be added tomorrow morning. It is planned to return to normal at 09:00 on Sunday.
The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) offered a 4,7 percent increase in wages in the new round of collective bargaining negotiations. The hike, which is expected to take effect in two levels, did not satisfy GDL, and the union announced that "long-term new quit actions will be organized."
The GDL has gone on strike for a total of seven times throughout the ongoing dispute over the 10 month. The union, which started a strike lasting 100 in November, ended the strike after 60 hours.
Government response to strike
The strike on the railway sparked a reaction from representatives of coalition parties. "The citizen doesn't understand the strike with understanding," said Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. "The strike will hit the German economy as well as passengers," said Gabriel, who also heads the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Christian Union (CDU / CSU) parties' Federal Assembly Frup Vice President Michael Fuchs argued that "the railway engineers union has become a risk factor for the German economy".