German trains cancelled amid ongoing strike
Ryan Thompson in Frankfurt


Hundreds of long-distance trains have been cancelled in Germany for the second day in a row. 

The nation's largest railway union, GDL, is struggling to reach an agreement over employee compensation with operator Deutsche Bahn. GDL representatives say they are looking for a more generous policy on coronavirus bonuses for staff.

Similar payments have been made by other national railroads in Europe. 

"They must make a move as is customary in wage negotiations," said Claus Weselsky, the head of the GDL union. "They must put a respectable offer on the table and that's when we are ready to negotiate."



The strikes come less than two weeks after an initial walkout caused similar hassles nationwide. 

Representatives for Deutsche Bahn say they're willing to pay, but find the union's tactics to be troubling. 

"This second strike is even more unnecessary than the first one," said Achim Stauss, a spokesperson. "We want to talk about a coronavirus bonus during the negotiations, which would come into effect this year even. At the same time, we call on the union to call off the passenger train strikes."

Train stations across Germany were markedly quieter than usual on Tuesday. Many travelers were notified about cancelled trains ahead of time and opted to stay home or find alternative routes. 

Travellers CGTN Europe spoke to noted that the timing is especially painful because many were relying on trains to reach destinations outside of the city for August holidays.

The strikes are scheduled to wrap up by the early hours of Wednesday morning, however a deal looks unlikely at this point. Union representatives say they will walk off the job again if a deal is not reached soon.

Cover image: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

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