Public transport strikes begin across Germany, paralysing networks

 A two-day public transport strike began in numerous German states on Thursday morning.
Passengers can expect considerable disruption, as buses, trams and underground trains ceased operating in many places.
The trade union ,Verdi had called for the two-day strike, lasting until Friday.
Cities and states which are affected include Berlin, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Demonstrations were planned in several cities on Thursday.
In Thuringia, a two-day strike continued on Thursday.
Most suburban trains or regional buses that are not operated by municipal employers won’t be affected.
Regional and long-distance rail services are also not on strike and would run according to the usual timetable.
Public transport workers have staged several strikes in recent weeks amid tense collective bargaining talks with nearly all public transit agencies in the country.
Staff in Bavaria are also part of the negotiations but remain under contract and cannot take part in the strikes.
The upcoming strikes are planned for different days next week in different locations, although Verdi said that Friday would be the main strike day.
The climate activist group, Fridays for Future, announced it plans to stage demonstrations on Friday as well, demanding more aggressive action on climate change and greater investment in public transit.
Germany has been hit recently by repeated strikes in the transport sector.  (dpa/NAN)