German train drivers' union to end strike ahead of Berlin Wall anniversary

BERLIN – A German train drivers’ union says it will end a strike that has caused commuter chaos ahead of the country’s celebration on Sunday of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Germans news agency dpa reported Friday that the head of the GDL union announced the strike would end Saturday at 6 p.m., more than a day sooner than planned.

GDL chief Claus Weselsky spoke after a court in Frankfurt ruled the strike was lawful.

The union wants a 5 per cent pay increase and shorter working hours, but the main sticking point is its demand to negotiate for train drivers and for other staff.

There has been widespread criticism of the strike, including over the potential disruption for people travelling to the Wall festivities in Berlin.

German authorities usually recommend that visitors use the country’s extensive public transportation network when travelling to major events, to minimize the crush of traffic on the roads.

Had the strike continued, both train travel from outside Berlin and the city’s light rail service would have been disrupted.