Tuesday, October 19

GDL sets the course for train drivers’ strikes in August

The good news first: strikes at the railways will be off the table in the next few weeks. But that only postponed the dispute – the train drivers’ union remains on strike.

BDrivers in Germany can breathe a sigh of relief for a while: they don’t have to prepare for a strike until August. The union of German locomotive drivers (GDL) wants to first call its members to a ballot, as the chairman Claus Weselsky said on Thursday in Berlin.

“The GDL will not call for warning strikes of a few hours or a day. You will first hold a ballot, “it said in a message from the union. This will be counted on August 9th. If the train drivers vote for strikes in this vote, they could then quickly be on the agenda.

A good two weeks ago, the union had declared the failure of the collective bargaining and announced “industrial action”. According to their vocabulary, this includes warning strikes and other actions as well as a strike vote on regular strikes.

Weselsky: Strikes harder and longer than before

“It’s a long time to think for the carpet floor in the
Bahnower and also for the owner, ”said Weselsky. The
At the behest of the federal government, federal companies have to maintain traffic throughout the corona pandemic. “Whoever orders the music will also have to pay for it.”

Just a few days ago, Weselsky announced that the strikes would be harder and longer than in the past. In 2014/2015, GDL members went on strike in eight waves and stopped work initially for an hour and, after a ballot, for several days.

Bahn and GDL hold each other responsible for the failure of previous collective bargaining. The GDL is calling for wage increases, as in the public sector, of around 3.2 percent and a significant corona bonus in the current year. According to Deutsche Bahn’s reading, the total demands add up to about three times as much. Because of the pandemic, the company wants to orient itself towards the “emergency collective agreement” of the airports, which would spread a similar increase of 3.2 percent over a longer period of time and later incremental points.

The rival union EVG had already signed a collective agreement last autumn. From the beginning of 2022, employees will receive 1.5 percent more money – that is little compared to collective bargaining rounds in better times. For this, compulsory redundancies are excluded until the end of 2023. The GDL now wants to get more out of strikes.

Deutsche Bahn has repeatedly asked the union to return to the negotiating table. There are well-founded offers for more wages and additional protection against dismissal on the table, about which the GDL top has so far refused serious negotiations, said a spokeswoman on Wednesday. After the tough months of the pandemic, the GDL wanted to destroy the spirit of optimism.

Rising booking numbers had just given the state-owned Deutsche Bahn hope for a respite in the corona crisis. The crisis tore a gap of more than 4 billion euros in the coffers in 2020 alone. The group, which is already heavily indebted, expects total damage of around 10 billion euros from the pandemic by 2024.