World

German rail strikes causes commuter chaos; raises concerns of short-term shortages

  • Travellers stay in front of an information board at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Travellers stay in front of an information board at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man walks on a platform at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    A man walks on a platform at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Travellers wait on a platform at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Travellers wait on a platform at the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. A union representing German train drivers on Tuesday called its members out on a four-day strike, escalating a bitter contract dispute with the national railway operator just as the government considers how to rein in the power of small unions. The GDL union said the strike will run from early Thursday morning until Monday, Nov. 10. It follows a series of shorter strikes, including a two-day walkout last month. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

German train drivers have begun a four-day strike in a bitter dispute with the country's national railway operator, causing chaos for commuters and raising concerns of short-term shortages.

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said Thursday it was seeking a court order to stop the walkout by the GDL union, which it plans to run through Monday morning.

Meantime, the dpa news agency reported that experts were warning the increased number of cars on the road, coupled fuel delivery delays, could lead to shortages at service stations. Industrial production delays were also anticipated as companies await deliveries of components.

GDL wants a 5 percent pay increase and shorter working hours but the main sticking point is its demand to negotiate not just for train drivers but for other staff.