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Railway union threatens strike over €2

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Railway union threatens strike over €2
EVG members outside a station during a 2013 strike. Photo: DPA
08:43 CET+01:00
As railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) continues negotiations with train drivers' union GDL, its other major union EVG has threatened a strike over pay differences between employees.

EVG head negotiator Regina Rusch-Ziemba told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the union would “discuss the necessity of warning strikes” at a meeting with the union's board on Tuesday.

DB and EVG are currently negotiating over a one-off payment to tide workers over until long-term pay negotiations with the two unions are finished.

Workers will receive €595 – or €85 a month since the previous wage contract ran out in July, plus a €85 Christmas bonus.

But staff at one subsidiary, DB services, were on a separate contract which ran out in November, and have been offered €2 less than other DB workers for December by managers.

Since EVG is aiming to bring staff at all DB subsidiaries into one umbrella wage agreement, they have threatened the company with strikes unless this one-off payment is the same amount for everyone as well.

DB personnel chief Ulrich Weber said on Monday that the company planned to exceed the union's wage goals, and that his offer contained “disproportionately larger payments for the service employees with their lower average salary”.

Privately, union negotiators admitted that it seemed “silly” to call members out on strike over two Euros, but said that it was important to stick to the principle that their colleagues should be paid equally “to the last cent”.

SEE ALSO: Train strikes cost operator €150m - so far

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