Railway strike causes travel chaos in Austria

Employees of main national railway operator go on strike to demand pay rise averaging 12%.

Railway strike causes travel chaos in Austria

A strike by employees of Austria's main national railway operator paralyzed almost all rail traffic in the country on Monday.

Employees of the Austrian Federal Railways OeBB are demanding pay rise averaging 12% in the face of 11% inflation in Austria. The employer side had offered only 8.44% by Sunday, whereupon negotiations were broken off over the weekend for the time being without a new meeting date.

According to OeBB, about 8,000 passenger and freight trains run daily in Austria from various operators. About 1 million passengers are transported every day.

The strike is also having an impact on neighboring countries Germany and Switzerland.

Germany's national railway company Deutsche Bahn had said on its website that night trains in and out of Austria would still be affected Tuesday night.

Cross-border connections to Switzerland will also be partially cancelled. With regard to international connections, OeBB had announced on its website that there will be "cancellations on Nightjet and Euronight connections here from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning."

OeBB CEO Andreas Mattha criticized the strikes, saying: "I lack any understanding for this strike.

"The employers' side has made the highest offer of all sectors, 8.44%," he told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.