German railway union calls off planned 50-hour strike

FILE PHOTO: Verdi calls nationwide strike over wage dispute in Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - German railway union EVG called off a planned 50-hour strike due to take place from Sunday to Tuesday, state train operator Deutsche Bahn said on Saturday, after the operator took the matter to court.

Deutsche Bahn submitted an urgent application to a labour court in Frankfurt-am-Main on Saturday arguing the planned strike was disproportionate and damaging to uninvolved third parties.

The EVG called off the strike and the two parties agreed to carry on negotiations, Deutsche Bahn's statement issued after the hearing said.

The EVG, which is negotiating on behalf of 230,000 workers, including 180,000 at Deutsche Bahn, is seeking a 12% wage increase, or at least an additional 650 euros ($715) per month.

Deutsche Bahn has offered 10% for lower and middle income workers and 8% for higher earners, but would phase in these increases over time.

The operator warned some travel may still be disrupted between Sunday and Tuesday because cancelled trips would need to be rescheduled.

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; editing by Jason Neely)