German rail dispute returns, union sets deadline

( dpa )- A labour dispute between Germany's main railways company and a train drivers' union, the GDL, flared up anew Monday, with the union threatening to strike again as it did last year.

GDL leader Manfred Schell set a deadline of Friday for the rail company Deutsche Bahn to change a labour contract, "or else our bodies will discuss what to do next." This could include a strike, he said.

Bahn and the GDL had reached a verbal settlement on January 30, but a written agreement embracing rival unions has proved elusive. Schell flatly rejected the labour agreement offered by Bahn.

The union repeatedly shut down German freight and passenger rail services last year.

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