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Aug 09,2007
Berlin, Hamburg train engineers strike
by UPI

BERLIN -- Commuter train engineers in Berlin and Hamburg staged a two-hour strike Thursday morning, delaying and frustrating millions of commuters.

The action came after 8,000 members of Germany's GDL train drivers union voted Monday overwhelmingly to strike for a 31 percent pay raise, Deutsche Welle reported.

On Wednesday, a German court ruled engineers carrying freight could not strike because of the economic impact, the report said.

Lawyers for the government successfully argued a complete rail shutdown would cost the country $137 million a day.

The state-owned Deutsche Bahn railway carries 5 million passengers on weekdays.

The commuter engineers walked off the job between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Their union claims the monthly salary of little more than $2,000 per month should be increased to reflect the country's economic growth.

The railway has reached agreement with two other unions in which workers received a 4.5 percent raise in wages, the report said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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