German train drivers left thousands of commuters stranded across the country Thursday morning with a rush-hour strike aimed at pressuring the state-owned national railway and smaller, private operators for higher pay.
Some 800 drivers walked off the job between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday, halting hundreds of commuter, long-distance and regional trains in the nation's main cities, including Berlin, Hannover, Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
Drivers began striking on cargo trains on Wednesday evening, leaving several hundred trains in their yards.
The GDL union is demanding a collective pay agreement for drivers at the national railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, and its private competitors that run trains on some routes and tend to pay lower wages.
The union said Monday its members voted for an all-out strike, but has not said when that might happen.