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German train drivers launch 2-day strike in bitter pay dispute after rejecting new offer

  • Empty platforms are seen as German train drivers went on strike to demand pay hike and better work conditions in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers has called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Empty platforms are seen as German train drivers went on strike to demand pay hike and better work conditions in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers has called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rail tracks are almost empty as German train drivers went on strike demanding for higher wages and less working hours in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Rail tracks are almost empty as German train drivers went on strike demanding for higher wages and less working hours in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • An electronic board flashes cancellation of scheduled passenger trains as German train drivers went on strike to demand pay hike and better work conditions in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers has called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    An electronic board flashes cancellation of scheduled passenger trains as German train drivers went on strike to demand pay hike and better work conditions in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. A union representing German train drivers has called members out on a two-day strike this Saturday and Sunday, escalating a bitter pay dispute with national railway Deutsche Bahn. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

Train drivers at Germany's national railway have started a two-day strike after their union rejected a new pay offer in a bitter dispute complicated by rivalry between unions.

The GDL union called members out on strike from early Saturday morning until early Monday morning, its second walkout this week.

GDL wants a 5 percent pay increase and shorter working hours. A bigger sticking point is its demand to negotiate for other staff traditionally represented by a rival union.

National railway Deutsche Bahn says it offered a raise of 5 percent over 30 months on Friday for the drivers but won't accept rival pay deals for other employees. GDL rejected what it called a "sham offer."

Deutsche Bahn aimed to operate 30 percent of scheduled long-distance trains.