Up to 2000 jobs protected

Combined transport is staying with DB Cargo after “mud fight” with trade union

Image: Shutterstock. Peeradontax

DB Cargo is no longer dropping its combined transport operations, which will reportedly save up to 2000 jobs at the company. The decision comes after a “mud fight” between the freight operator and trade union EVG. DB Cargo wanted to improve competitiveness by abandoning combined transport, but EVG seems to have convinced the company to reverse course.

In February, DB Cargo’s CEO Sigrid Nikutta announced her intentions to drop combined transport operations and transfer them to companies where DB Cargo is a shareholder. The idea was to improve the loss-making company’s finances. Employee representatives heavily protested the plan, which would have led to a loss of up to two thousand jobs at the company. Beneficiaries of the move would have been Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn, Kombiverkehr, TFG Transfracht and RBH Logistics.

It seems that EVG got the upper hand and managed to save 2000 jobs by forcing DB Cargo to keep its combined transport operations in place. The freight operator refused to explain why it went along with EVG’s wishes. According to German publication DVZ, the disagreement between trade union EVG and DB Cargo turned into a “mud fight” earlier this year. The two parties were not at all on good terms, but have seemingly overcome their differences for now.

Competitiveness and productivity

Possibly, DB Cargo gave in because EVG signalled its readiness to cooperate on making the company more agile. Talks on restructuring the company for that purpose are reportedly still ongoing. Sigrid Nikutta earlier expressed her frustration that DB Cargo was not flexible enough to compete with smaller private operators.

“Securing jobs is to be achieved, among other things, through the implementation of extensive measures to increase competitiveness and productivity”, according to a joint statement by DB Cargo and EVG. The former did not respond to questions about the nature of the “extensive measures”. “The common goal is a future-proof company that is successful in the long term in the competitive collective agreement market – and thus remains a secure employer.”

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Author: Dennis van der Laan

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