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German train drivers will end a 6-day strike early and resume talks with the railway operator

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's train drivers' union is ending its six-day strike early and is back in talks with the country's national railway operator, German news agency dpa reported Saturday.

The strike by the GDL union on passengers trains, which has brought the country to a near standstill since early Wednesday, will end Monday morning at 2 a.m. (0100 GMT), instead of 6 p.m. (1700 GMT) as originally announced. The freight transport strike will end on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. (1700 GMT).

This week's strike was the fourth one by the union during the current negotiations to push their demands in a rancorous dispute with the country’s main railway operator, state-owned Deutsche Bahn, over working hours and pay.

Both parties were back in talks on Saturday already and said there would be no further strikes until March 3, dpa reported.

In addition to pay raises, the union has been calling for working hours to be reduced from 38 to 35 per week without a pay cut, a demand which Deutsche Bahn has so far refused.