Strikes Hit German Commuters

Train worker walk out in third day; negotiations at a standstill
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 6:00 AM CST
Cars move slowly next to empty rails towards downtown Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007. German train drivers launched a strike on the country's passenger network Thursday, joining...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – France isn't the only country suffering a railway strike this week. In Germany, millions of commuters are stranded as a dispute over pay hikes enters its third day. The strike, which began on freight services, has now expanded to commuter trains, reports the Telegraph. It's the most serious strike in Germany's history and comes at a critical moment for Chancellor Angela Merkel's increasingly fractious government coalition.

Deutsche Bahn, the country's largest employer, refuses to offer more concessions to the 34,000 train drivers who have walked off the job and demanded raises of up to 31%. The organization has taken out ads in the German press explaining its position, and the public has generally not supported the strike. The German unions—unlike their French counterparts—have promised to end their strike tomorrow morning.