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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
German train strike threat lifted
Some drivers briefly walked off the job on Thursday
The two sides seem far apart
The two sides in Germany's rail dispute are set to restart talks after unions ruled out further strike action until the end of August at the earliest.

The GDL union agreed to respect a court ruling banning more stoppages until 27 August to help facilitate a settlement.

Drivers at state operator Deutsche Bahn staged brief walkouts in Berlin and Hamburg on Thursday over a pay dispute.

Deutsche Bahn obtained an injunction preventing drivers of freight and long-distance trains from striking.

Mediation efforts

The injunction, lasting until 30 September, was granted because of the potential economic damage that a prolonged strike could cause.

The union appealed against the legal judgement and a Nuremberg court on Friday approved a compromise date of 27 August before which any strike action would be illegal.

The decision to hold off on the strike is an important signal to the German economy
Norbert Bensel, Deutsche Bahn

Two senior politicians from the ruling Christian Democrat Party have been appointed to head efforts to mediate a deal.

GDL is seeking a 31% pay rise for its members, arguing that they should benefit more from the recovery of the German economy.

This improvement has boosted freight and passenger traffic.

Deutsche Bahn has already agreed a much smaller deal with two other unions which will see workers receive a 4.5% rise in wages.

Deutsche Bahn welcomed the fact there would be no disruption in the immediate future.

"The decision to hold off on the strike is an important signal to the German economy and allows users of the rail network to plan their trips," said Norbert Bensel, the company's head of transport and logistics.

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