Thousands of flights and trains will be canceled again this week in Germany with new strikes


BERLIN — Thousands of flights and trains are expected to be canceled again this week in Germany after two unions on Monday called for more strikes over wages and working conditions.

Negotiations continue for ground staff of German airline Lufthansa and German rail operator’s Deutsche Bahn train drivers. German train drivers’ union GDL and Ver.di called for the strikes Thursday and Friday.

Around 200,000 air passengers will be affected by the two-day strike, according to an initial estimate by the Lufthansa Group, meaning that around 1,000 flights per day will be canceled as during previous strikes, German news agency dpa reported.

The strike on long-distance and regional train services begins at 2.00 a.m. (0100GMT) on Thursday and will affect millions of travelers. According to GDL, the strike is set to last until 1 p.m. Friday. In freight transport, the strike will begin on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (1700GMT) and is scheduled to last until 5 a.m. Friday.

In addition to pay raises, GDL has been calling for working hours to be reduced from 38 to 35 per week without a pay cut, which Deutsche Bahn has refused.

The Ver.di union seeks a 12.5% pay raise, or at least 500 euros ($542) more per month, in negotiations for nearly 25,000 Lufthansa ground workers including check-in, aircraft handling, maintenance and freight staff.

Coinciding contract negotiations have resulted in several recent walkouts in the rail, air and local transport sectors in Germany.



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