BERLIN, March 18 (Xinhua) -- German railway workers went on a nationwide strike in the rush hours on Monday morning to demand higher wages.
The strike lasted from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, during which long distance trains as well as regional commute were canceled or delayed.
According to the Railway and Transport Workers' Union (EVG), the strike organizer, railway employees "in almost every state" of Germany protested in the morning to "express their displeasure over the inadequate rate offer made by the employer".
According to a spokesperson of Deutsche Bahn, commuter lines were "severely affected." The effect on rail traffic across Germany could last throughout the day.
EVG represents about 130,000 employees of Deutsche Bahn, and has called for a salary increase of 6.5 percent.
"Our protest is a clear call to increase the present offer (of the employer)," said Regina Rusch-Ziemba, deputy chairman of EVG, on Saturday.
Deutsche Bahn responded during the weekend that it felt "surprise and incomprehension" on the strike decision, as it had offered "reasonable offer with salary increases and higher retirement benefits."
In previous negotiations that ended in February, the group offered a two-stage package consisting of an increase of 2.4 percent from May 1, 2013, and an additional 2 percent from April next year. An one percent increase of retirement pensions were also offered.
Another negotiation between EVG and Deutsche Bahn was scheduled later on Monday in Berlin.
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