Vienna After collective bargaining failed, railway workers in Austria paralyzed train services on Monday with a 24-hour warning strike. The state-run Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has announced that long-distance connections with Germany, Switzerland and other countries will be affected by the measure from Sunday. “Nightgate and Euronight connections will be disrupted from today, Sunday evening, until Tuesday morning,” it said in a statement.
The federation FIDA, which represents about 50,000 railway workers, has demanded a fixed wage increase of 400 euros, which according to employee representatives means an average increase of about 12 percent. The Chamber of Commerce, which is negotiating on the employer side, recently improved its offer to 8.4 percent. Inflation in Austria was 11 percent year on year in October.
But both sides said Sunday morning that the talks had failed for the time being, blaming each other. “We are fighting for a sustainable adjustment to inflation, which in the context of skyrocketing prices will mainly dampen low and middle incomes,” said Vida negotiator Gerhard Tauchner. The union argued that current junior salaries are sometimes below the poverty line.
“I have no understanding of this strike,” said Andreas Mata, president of the OBB club. The current wage supply is higher than in all other sectors.
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