The deal to end German rail strikes includes a 35-hour work week with the option of overtime

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BERLIN (AP) – Train drivers and other workers on Germany’s main railways will see their work week cut from 38 to 35 hours by 2029 without a cut in their pay, but they will have the option of working longer hours to earn more money, the two sides said. . Tuesday.

The system is a key part of the partnership with the state-owned Deutsche Bahn it arrived on monday and the GDL union, which represents most of its drivers and other workers, after five months discussion hit by a strike.

Several to pay disputes in the transport sector in Germany has recently agreed, and this was very confusing. Others involved local transport staff, ground staff and Lufthansa cabin crew and airport staff.

The rail strike led to long-haul trains and many regional trains being grounded, sometimes for several days in Europe’s largest economy.

The key point was GDL’s demand that working hours be reduced without cuts in wages. Other small operators operating in the region agreed to the proposal, but Deutsche Bahn initially refused.

The agreement between the two parties clearly shows that working hours will be reduced to 35 hours in four phases from 2026 to 2029. .

The contract also includes a salary increase of 420 euros ($455) per month in two installments and a one-off payment of 2,850 euros to cover inflation.

Deutsche Bahn chief of staff Martin Seiler described it as a “smart compromise” that gives the company flexibility and added strength “in a difficult labor market.” The company also cited difficulties in recruiting more drivers to fill the gaps that occurred during the short week.

GDL chairman Claus Weselsky said the shorter work week was “urgently needed” to attract more workers to the railways.

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