German rail union calls strikes for Thursday

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BERLIN, Oct 17 (Reuters) A German train drivers' union has called fresh strikes for tomorrow after it rejected the latest pay offer from rail operator Deutsche Bahn.

''The train drivers will therefore ... carry out more strikes tomorrow,'' Claus Weselsky, deputy head of the GDL union, said at a televised news conference today.

Drivers of regional and local trains would stop work throughout the country from 2 a.m. tomorrow (midnight GMT today), and the stoppage would end at 11 a.m. (1430 hrs IST), Weselsky said.

GDL has demanded a pay rise of up to 31 per cent and rejected a deal in July giving other rail workers a 4.5 per cent increase.

The 34,000-member union has already held a series of walkouts in recent months affecting millions of travellers and has filed an appeal in a regional court against a ban on strikes affecting long-distance and freight services.

Deutsche Bahn made its fifth wage offer on Monday, which includes a one-off payment of 2,000 euros (2,848 dollars) plus an increase in monthly wwages of up to 10 per cent.

Reuters PD GC1941

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