October 7, 2014 / 8:47 AM / 5 years ago

German train drivers announce nationwide strike

A locomotive engine driver of German railway Deutsche Bahn looks out of his locomotive at Frankfurt's main railway station October 6, 2014. REUTERS/ Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN (Reuters) - German travellers face more disruption after train drivers’ union GDL called for a nine-hour nationwide strike starting Tuesday evening in a row over pay and conditions with state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL].

The latest strike by train drivers follows pilot strikes at airlines Lufthansa and Air France that have disrupted travel in Europe over the last few weeks.

GDL, seeking a 5 percent pay rise and a two-hour shorter working week of 37 hours, called on train drivers and other personnel such as conductors and on-board restaurant staff to strike from 2000 BST Tuesday until 0500 BST on Wednesday.

The walkout will overlap with a two-day strike by pilots at Lufthansa Cargo, the air freight arm of Germany’s largest airline, starting at 0200 BST on Wednesday.

That strike will be the sixth this year by pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit, which is pushing management to retain a scheme that allows them to retire early at 55 and still receive a portion of their wages.

Lufthansa Cargo normally carries out 21 freighter flights during the strike period and said it will publish a special flight plan later today.

“Quite a few pilots have already volunteered to fly and we are confident we will be able to carry out most of the flights,” a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Stephen Brown

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