Austrian trains grind to halt as rail workers strike

Austrian trains grind to halt as rail workers strike

Usually bustling train stations were left deserted
Usually bustling train stations were left deserted. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Source: AFP

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Trains across Austria ground to a halt Monday as rail workers went on a 24-hour strike to demand higher pay.

Usually bustling train stations were left deserted with about a million travellers left stranded.

"The railway union vida is on strike today from 00:00 to 24:00. For this reason, no trains can run all day throughout Austria and across borders," rail operator OeBB wrote on its website.

Vida said that negotiations to increase the salary of 50,000 railway workers had failed, accusing employers of "mocking" employees with a "bogus offer".

Vida wants salaries to increase by 400 euros ($415) -- instead of the 208 euros offered -- to cushion the effects of surging inflation, which stood at 11 percent year on year in October.

Night train workers earn from 1,356 euros net per month, according to the union.

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Strikes are rare in Austria.

Wage increases are usually set by collective bargaining between the Austrian Economic Chambers and unions representing different branches.

In rail transport, the last strike lasting several days dates back to 2003.

Source: AFP

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