( dpa ) - Germany's state-owned rail company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), and the GDL train drivers union announced Wednesday they had agreed a new contract, ending a 10-month dispute that resulted in repeated strikes last year.
DB Human Resources head Margret Suckale said the conflict had "finally been resolved," while GDL boss chief Manfred Schell said he expected the contract, which is to take effect on March 1, to be signed Thursday.
The GDL, which represents some three-quarters of the 20,000 train drivers, has yet to agree conditions for cooperation with the larger Transnet union that represents the bulk of DB's staff.
In terms of the new contract, drivers are to receive a one-off payment of 800 euros (1,200 dollars) and an 8-per-cent rise. From September, there will be a further 3-per-cent increase.
Schell said the unions had yet to agree who would represent the 3,000 shunting engine drivers.
The conflict began in March last year, with the GDL demanding an entirely separate wage contract and a 31-per-cent rise.
Repeated strikes hit commuter traffic in the main cities and then the key freight sector, threatening to paralyse the vital steel, carmaking and chemicals sectors.