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German railway reaches pay deal with main union

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German railway reaches pay deal with main union
EVG negotiator Regina Rusch-Ziemba and Torsten Westphal, EVG General Manager, at a press conference on Saturday. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/DPA
14:31 CET+01:00
German railway operator Deutsche Bahn and its main union said Saturday they had reached a pay deal after strikes disrupted services earlier this week.
The EVG union, which represents most of the 160,000 DB workers, agreed a 6.1 percent pay rise in all -- 3.5 percent payable from July 2019 and 2.6 percent from July 2020.
 
EVG originally demanded a 7.5 percent pay hike while DB offered 5.1 percent. Employees will also get a one-off payment of 1,000 euros ($1,130) just before the first phase salary increase, EVG and DB said.
   
EVG negotiator Regina Rusch-Ziemba said the union had won comprehensively after strike action had "sent a clear sign" to the company of workers' determination.
   
 
The agreement "is an important sign of (DB's) esteem for its workers," DB human resources head Martin Seiler said in a statement.   DB will now be able to focus on improving its services, especially on punctuality, he said.
   
The much smaller GDL train drivers union remains in dispute with DB, announcing Friday that talks with management had failed.
 
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