Germany braces for 50-hour train strike after employers refuse union demands

BERLIN (AP) — A labor union representing more than 200,000 railway workers said Friday that it was going ahead with a planned strike next week after its demands for better pay were rejected by employers.

The EVG union said its members will walk out for 50 hours from late Sunday until late Tuesday. Rail company Deutsche Bahn has canceled all long-distance travel during that period and warned that most regional trains also won’t run.

The strike will likely be one of the biggest in recent years, following a previous large-scale walkout in April.

But union co-leader Cosima Ingenschay said that a strike could still be averted at the last minute if employers put forward another offer.

EVG went into the current round of pay negotiations seeking a raise of 12% for its members, or at least 650 euros more each month. It also wants the minimum wage of 12 euros an hour to be ensured through basic pay rather than with bonuses, as is currently the case for some 2,700 workers.

The strike will affect dozens of rail companies as well as freight traffic.

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