The German national railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced a new round of negotiations with the train drivers’ union GDL on Saturday. The company said it was “confident” a deal could be reached.

“The negotiations are intensive but constructive,” DB said in a statement. “Agreement has been reached on many matters. Both parties are confident that they can announce a result next week.”

The new talks will – at least temporarily – put an end to weeks of travel disruptions by striking train drivers.

DB added that both sides had agreed to continue talks behind closed doors next week and not make any additional public statements on the status of negotiations.

The main sticking point in the two-month talks was the GDL’s demand to reduce the working week from 38 hours to 35 hours without reducing wages. DB last presented an offer to reduce the working week to 36 hours in two phases, ending in 2028, which the union refused ahead of the latest of six strikes in recent months.

Some smaller private regional rail companies agreed to reduce hours without cutting wages if GDL made the same deal with DB.

A strike on Tuesday coincided with industrial action by Lufthansa cabin crew in a separate dispute, adding to the disruption for travelers.

sms/lo (dpa, AFP, AP)

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