Germany Steels for Rail Strike

Drivers' union action promises major roadblock for summer travelers
utsche Bahn AG's drivers, launched a four-hour walkout. That came on top of strikes by members of two other unions in a separate wage dispute with the company. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A rebellious union of German train drivers has voted overwhelmingly to strike on Thursday, setting the stage for the country's largest industrial action in over a decade, reports the Financial Times. Travelers began canceling trips as the railway dug in, refusing to negotiate with workers and insisting that it could withstand a strike.

Although Deutsche Bahn successfully negotiated pay increases with its two largest unions, the drivers' union refused to take part and is demanding raises of 31% for its employees. The railway, which is in the process of privatization, hopes to continue a minimal service for travelers but estimates that the strike will cost Germany half a billion euros a day.