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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
German train drivers call strike
A Deutsche Bahn employee at Berlin station
Officials say a prolonged dispute would hurt the economy
German train drivers are set to strike at the end of the week after negotiations about a wage agreement collapsed, the GDL union said.

The strike will affect passenger and freight trains for a limited period from Friday, GDL added.

National rail operator Deutsche Bahn had proposed a 10% salary increase, but GDL is holding out for a 30% rise.

Deutsche Bahn has been locked in a wage dispute for months with GDL, which says that train drivers are underpaid.

The rail operator has already agreed a smaller deal with two other unions which will see workers receive a 4.5% rise in wages.

GDL chairman Manfred Schell said that Deutsche Bahn "bears sole responsibility" for the strike.

Government officials have warned that a prolonged strike could damage the German economy.

Deutsche Bahn carries some 5 million passengers daily.

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