Austria is facing major transport disruption as a result of a rail strike called by the trade union Vida. After the fifth round of negotiations on pay rises collapsed, both employers and employees have blamed each other for the failure to reach a deal.
The negotiations over pay relate to 50,000 workers who work in the Austrian rail system. Their union, Vida, has called for an increase of 400 euros to the wages of all rail workers in order to combat the increase in the cost of living. However, they say that the employers, WKO, have refused to come close to this figure.
In response, WKO alleged that the union had already planned to call the strike and therefore had little intention of reaching a negotiated deal. The chief negotiator for the employers, Thomas Scheiber, told d ORF.at that “the union is taking the entire industry and its customers host with their unrealistic demands” and said the union had not been willing to move at all from its demands.
The strike will be that there will be no rail services available on Monday 28 November, with the head of the rail network ÖBB apologising to customers and saying that he didn’t understand why the unions had rejected a pay increase of 8.4%, which in his view is the highest offer that any sector has received.
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