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German transport sector faces major disruptions as unions call for strikes

Two German labour unions
representing transport workers have called for mass strikes expected to cause widespread disruption on
railways and at airports, the latest transportation chaos in the country prompted by wage disputes.

The strikes, scheduled to start just after midnight and affect services throughout Monday, will be the latest in months of strikes and protests that have hit major European economies as higher food and energy prices knocked incomes and living standards.

The Verdi union is negotiating on behalf of around 2.5
million employees in the public sector, including in public
transport and at airports. 

Railway and transport union EVG
negotiates for approximately 230,000 employees at Deutsche Bahn
and bus companies.

Verdi is demanding a 10.5 percent wage increase, with pay rising by
at least 500 euros ($544) per month, while EVG is asking for a
12 percent raise or at least 650 euros more per month.

“We represent groups of workers who literally run this
country and are paid far too badly to do so,” Verdi Chairman
Frank Werneke said.

Verdi has called on around 120,000 employees in the
transport and infrastructure sectors, including airports, shipping and motorway companies, to participate in industrial

Deutsche Bahn and other public employers are offering around a five percent wage increase on average along with a one-off payment of up to
2,500 euros.

“We don’t want any further escalation. We want a negotiable
offer,” said Martin Burkert, the chairman of the EVG union, which
represents 50 transport companies, including railway operator
Deutsche Bahn.

EVG said further strikes around the Easter holiday in April could not be ruled out.

READ MORE: Hundreds of flights cancelled in fresh round of strikes at German airports”

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