Court halts German strike planned for Thursday

A court ban Wednesday halted plans by the main German train drivers' union to mount a four-hour stoppage of goods traffic in support of demands for a pay increase and for a settlement separate from other rail workers.

Court halts German strike planned for Thursday
A court ban Wednesday halted plans by the main German train drivers' union to mount a four-hour stoppage of goods traffic in support of demands for a pay increase and for a settlement separate from other rail workers.

A labour court in the southern city of Nuremberg ruled that the impact of the strike on the German economy was out of proportion to the rights of the drivers to press their case.

Some 8,000 drivers in the GDL union backed the strike in a ballot, the results of which were published Monday.

The GDL immediately announced strike action, starting with a four-hour goods stoppage on Thursday, followed by unspecified industrial action against passenger services on Monday.

The Nuremberg court ruling prohibits strike action until September 30.

In an initial reaction to the ruling, GDL boss Manfred Schell said the union would appeal. Strike plans were on hold, he added.

Deutsche Bahn (DB), the company that manages the state-owned railway network, urged the GDL to return to the negotiation table.

DB Human Resources director Margret Suckale said the company's hand "continues to be stretched out to the GDL," but she added that the union needed to move quickly.

Both sides have accepted the possibility of appointing an independent mediator. Among the names mentioned are former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who left office in 2005 after losing elections.

DB has struck a 4.5-per-cent deal with two other unions representing 134,000 rail staff, but this was rejected by the GDL, which is demanding a rise of around 30 per cent.

It also insists that its pay talks be uncoupled from those with the other unions representing mainly less-skilled staff.

DPA
Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2007, 17:05
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