German railway operator to increase wages by 2010

German railway operator promised two unions representing rail workers to raise wages by 10 percent by 2010.

The agreement announced by the Transnet and GDBA unions and Deutsche Bahn AG rail operator's CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn was separate from a bitter wage dispute between the railway and a third union, GDL, which represents only train drivers.

Officials said the agreement would cover some 150,000 railway employees and is part of wider plans for a revised pay structure.

The promised increase would include a 4.5 percent wage raise agreed on in July between Deutsche Bahn and the two unions. Transnet and GDBA members staged brief warning walkouts ahead of that agreement.

However, GDL rejected the 4.5 percent pay hike obtained by the rival unions and has pursued its own campaign for a separate wage agreement and a heftier pay increase.

It has staged several strikes recently to press its point, and has threatened more if talks planned for Monday with Deutsche Bahn fail.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova