Commuter chaos in Germany due to rail strike over pay

Commuter chaos in Germany due to rail strike over pay
A train sits in the empty station in Nauen, west of Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. The train traffic collapsed German-wide following a strike on Monday morning leaving thousands of commuters stranded. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop) (Source: Ferdinand Ostrop)

BERLIN (AP) — A short-term strike by train workers Monday led to commuter chaos in Germany, with hundreds of delays and cancellations.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the four-hour strike that began at 5 a.m. affected more than 1,400 trains nationwide, hitting long-distance traffic and also metro rail systems in Berlin, Munich, Hannover and Frankfurt.

The EVG labor union called the so-called "warning strike" to put pressure on Deutsche Bahn after wage negotiations broke off Saturday without an agreement.

A new round of talks is set to start Tuesday in Berlin.

EVG negotiates for some 160,000 Deutsche Bahn employees and also represents bus drivers and others.

A train sits in the empty station in Nauen, west of Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. The train traffic collapsed German-wide following a strike on Monday morning leaving thousands of commuters stranded. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop)
A train sits in the empty station in Nauen, west of Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. The train traffic collapsed German-wide following a strike on Monday morning leaving thousands of commuters stranded. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop) (Source: Ferdinand Ostrop)

The union had been seeking a 7.5 percent pay rise, and has rejected Deutsche Bahn's counter-offer of a package worth around 7 percent including a one-off payment and staggered increases over 29 months.

Cars queue on a street in Munich, southern Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. A German-wide strike of the train workers forced thousands of commuters to take their cars instead of public transport. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)
Cars queue on a street in Munich, southern Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. A German-wide strike of the train workers forced thousands of commuters to take their cars instead of public transport. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP) (Source: Matthias Balk)
A picketer holds a poster of the train workers union at the main station in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Thousands of commuters were hit by a German-wide strike. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)
A picketer holds a poster of the train workers union at the main station in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Thousands of commuters were hit by a German-wide strike. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP) (Source: Marijan Murat)