BERLIN – A union representing most of Germany’s train drivers and the country’s leading national rail operator have resumed negotiations in a bitter dispute over working hours and wages, and hope to reach an agreement within the next week, the company said in a statement Saturday.

GDL has called ongoing strikes by Deutsche Bahn train drivers in a dispute that has been going on for several months. Its strike on Tuesday coincided with that of Lufthansa cabin crew – over another labor dispute – compounding the disruption for travelers.

The main point of contention is the union’s demand to reduce the working week from 38 to 35 hours, with no reduction in pay. Some small private operators providing regional services have agreed to this request.

In an earlier attempt at rapprochement, mediators suggested a reduction from 38 to 36 hours by 2028, but the details of the proposal did not convince GDL.

Deutsche Bahn said Saturday that it resumed talks with the union, which it described as “intense but constructive.”

“An understanding was reached on many issues,” added the brief statement, which offered no further details. “Both parties are confident that they will be able to announce an agreement within the next week. GDL will refrain from calling any further strikes until then.”

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