German rail workers vote against open-ended strikes, accepting a pay offer and inflation bonus

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's rail workers will not go on open-ended strikes after less than 50% of union members voted in favor, German news agency dpa reported Monday. A vote of 75% in favor would have been necessary for all-out strike action.

The ballot was preceded by months of staged hours-long or one-day “warning strikes,” called by the EVG union, a common tactic in German wage negotiations.

A majority of workers also voted in favor of a recommendation that emerged from arbitration between EVG and the rail operator, Deutsche Bahn.

The compromise deal includes a pay increase of 410 euros ($443) per month in two stages over a period of 25 months. The first stage of 200 euros is to be paid from December, the second from August of next year, dpa reported.

In addition, all employees will receive a tax- and duty-free inflation compensation bonus of 2,850 euros in October. Overall, this means that the incomes of around 70,000 employees will increase significantly, dpa reported.

Another rail workers union, the GDL. is due to start negotiations for its members later this year.