Austrian rail traffic came to a halt at midnight on Monday, affecting approximately 8,000 connections and around a million passengers, as workers went on strike for 24 hours over pay.
The strike impacted all modes of transportation, from public transportation to regional services and long-distance night trains, as well as rail freight lines.
The head of the nation’s rail network predicted that services would be back to normal by the next day.
OeBB chief Andreas Matthae said, “I don’t want to rule out the possibility of irregularities on one train or the other, but in general I expect that we will be back to serving our customers with the usual quality as of Tuesday.”
Austria, which is wedged between eight countries, including Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, is an important rail hub in Europe.
The main rail workers’ union had demanded a 400 euro ($417.88) monthly pay increase for the sector’s 50,000 workers. They are being offered 208 euros more in addition to a one-time payment of 1000 euros.
After the fifth round of negotiations fell through on Sunday, the union declared Monday’s strike a “warning strike.”