German train drivers union to strike again from Wednesday

At DB Cargo in Germany, the train drivers who are members of the GDL union will be on strike again from 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 1 September. The drivers of Deutsche Bahn passenger trains follow a day later from 2 a.m. The labour dispute will run until 7 September at 2 a.m. It is the third strike in a month.

According to the GDL, Deutsche Bahn is still not moving a millimetre in the collective labour agreement. “In doing so, it consciously accepts economic disadvantages and burdens for travellers. All this is being done to eliminate the GDL as the only critical union in the rail sector.”

According to Deutsche Bahn, the GDL makes both customers and employees victims of their power play for reasons of organisational policy. The company again calls on the GDL to immediately start serious negotiations. DB claims it put a negotiable offer on the table, while according to GDL, this is not the case.

Competition

“Competitive companies such as Transdev, Netinera and Go-Ahead have recently entered into collective agreements with the GDL. Although also affected by the corona pandemic, they proceeded to a wage increase of 1,4 per cent in 2021 and a corona bonus of 600 euros, as well as a wage increase of 1,8 per cent in 2022 with a duration of 28 months for all professions in the rail system. DB should follow that example,” said GDL chairman Claus Weselsky.

DB Personnel Director Martin Seiler says in response that a collective agreement is reached in negotiations and cannot be dictated. “This renewed strike does not bring us any closer to a collective agreement.”

Deutsche Bahn’s offer

DB’s current offering includes a 3,2 per cent pay increase in two steps, as required by the GDL. Wages are expected to rise by 1,5 per cent on January 1, 2022, and by 1,7 per cent on March 1, 2023. Based on the collective labour agreement for the airport sector, DB has proposed a term until June 30, 2024. In addition, additional protection against dismissal, thousands of new jobs and a high-quality old-age provision are part of the offer.

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Author: Paul van den Bogaard

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