Germany's train drivers plan to go on nationwide strike

BERLIN — Germany’s train drivers plan to go on a nationwide strike starting Tuesday night, the head of the train driver’s union said after announcing that 95% of the union members had voted in favor of the action.

The head of the GDL union, Claus Weselsky, told reporters the strike would start with all cargo trains at 7 p.m. (1700GMT) Tuesday and expand to include passengers trains from 2 a.m. (0000GMT) Wednesday until 2 a.m. Friday,

The union is demanding a 3.2% salary increase and a one-time “coronavirus bonus” of 600 euros ($703).

German train operator Deutsche Bahn has rejected the demands. It has lost billions since the start of the pandemic and from recent floods that destroyed or damaged railroad tracks.

Many German states are on summer vacation, and travelers are heavily relying on trains to get around. However, customers who have already bought tickets for the coming days when train travel will likely come to a standstill in Germany can request refunds.

The GDL union went on nationwide strikes eight times in 2014 and 2015 to push through its demands.

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