The German rail operator Deutsche Bahn called on striking train drivers Friday to return to the negotiating table as travellers faced another day of rail chaos in the four-day-long industrial action, dpa reported.
"We can very quickly talk today, tomorrow or on the weekend, but what I miss is a willingness to talk on the part of the (train drivers' union) GDL," Deutsche Bahn's personnel director Ulrich Weber told German public television.
GDL passenger train drivers walked off the job early Thursday and are not due to return to work until Monday. The strike threatens to disrupt weekend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Freight train drivers stopped work on Wednesday in a more than 100-hour strike that forms part of the union's demands for higher wages, a shorter working week and the right to represent more Deutsche Bahn train drivers.
A German court dismissed late Thursday an attempt by Deutsche Bahn to to end the strike, which is the longest in two decades.
"We have had weeks and months, and there has not been a single recognizable step towards each other, which is normally how the collective bargaining process works," Weber said.