German train drivers' union calls 2-day strike in long running dispute with national railway

A union representing German train drivers has called its members out on strike Wednesday and Thursday in a long-running dispute with the national railway operator.

The GDL union said passenger services will be hit from 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) Wednesday through 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) Thursday. Members on freight trains will walk off the job Tuesday afternoon and return to work Friday morning.

GDL, which staged several strikes last year, said last week that talks with railway operator Deutsche Bahn had broken down and it would resume walkouts.

GDL wants a 5-percent pay increase and shorter working hours. However, the main sticking point has been its demand to negotiate not just for train drivers but for other railway staff who are traditionally represented by a larger rival union.