German rail operator, union agree on new wage package

Germany's rail operator says it has reached a new wage agreement with workers, averting the possibility of more strikes during the Christmas travel crunch.

Deutsche Bahn said Saturday it had agreed with the EVG union, which negotiates for around 160,000 employees and also represents bus drivers and others, to a package of raises over 29 months ending in February 2021.

Workers will receive a 3.5 percent increase on July 1, 2019 and a 2.6 percent increase on July 1, 2020, with Oct. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 covered by a one-off 1,000-euro ($1,130) payment.

The union had been arguing for a 7.5 percent overall increase over a shorter period.

Deutsche Bahn raised its offer after a short-term strike on Monday led to hundreds of delays and cancellations.