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UPDATE 1-Two-hour rail strike stops trains across Austria

Trains stopped running across Austria on Monday as last-minute pay negotiations failed to avert a planned two-hour strike set to disrupt an important European rail hub.

The main rail workers' union called the "warning strike" to press its demands in the annual pay talks, and as the midday (1100 GMT) start of the strike passed it became clear that no breakthrough in those talks had been achieved.

National rail company OBB said shortly before the strike began that since the union had not told it which lines would be affected, all services would be shut down, including trains arriving from other countries.

"No trains are circulating," OBB said in a statement. "The union has still not announced the affected connections and lines. Therefore, for operational security reasons, OBB temporarily shut down rail traffic across Austria at 12 o'clock," it added.

Austria is a rail hub for Italy, Switzerland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

"It is to be assumed that there will be severe disruptions across Austria," OBB said in an earlier statement. It was not clear how quickly services would return to normal once the strike had ended.

A spokeswoman for the Vida union was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Francois Murphy Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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