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Strike looms German rail dispute

GERMAN train drivers have called for strike action in rail cargo transport from tomorrow in a wage dispute between the union GDL and state-owned operator Deutsche Bahn, writes Katrin Berkenkopf. Though the strikes will be joined by some Deutsche Bahn train drivers only and do not concern those employed with private rail operators, German seaports’ hinterland traffic might be seriously hampered.GDL has not presented detailed plans for the strikes, leaving ports unsure of the extent to which they will be affected. In the case that Deutsche Bahn train drivers block important access tracks to and from the ports, private operators will not be able to operate fully.In Hamburg, about one third of all hinterland traffic is handled via rail.It remains to be seen whether liner operators direct more cargo through the Benelux ports at short notice in order to avoid possible delays at German terminals.Experts have predicted serious losses for the economy if the strike extends beyond two

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