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BREAKING: Deutsche Bahn and GDL Union Forge Groundbreaking Wage Agreement

BREAKING: Deutsche Bahn and GDL Union Forge Groundbreaking Wage Agreement
photo: Deutsche Bahn AG / Public domain/Deutsche Bahn (DB)
26 / 03 / 2024

After five months of intense negotiations, Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the German Train Drivers' Union (GDL) have reached a landmark wage agreement, described by DB Board Member for Human Resources Martin Seiler as an "intelligent compromise."

Central to the agreement is an innovative option model allowing shift workers to select their weekly working hours, ranging from 35 to 40 hours, thus linking compensation directly with hours worked. This arrangement aims to enhance the attractiveness of rail professions by offering employees autonomy to tailor their schedules to their life phases, ensuring performance is appropriately rewarded.

The agreement sets a precedent in labor negotiations by introducing a gradual reduction in reference working hours for GDL area shift workers from 38 hours to 37 hours by 2026, eventually reaching 35 hours by 2029, without a corresponding cut in salaries. Instead, employees will have the liberty to choose their actual working hours within the 35 to 40-hour framework, with additional hours worked compensated with a 2.7 percent hourly wage increase.

Deutsche Bahn AG / Public domain

This means a significant potential pay rise for those opting for longer hours, directly addressing the industry's skilled worker shortage and positioning DB for continued growth amidst challenging labor market conditions. The comprehensive wage package also includes an inflation compensation bonus and staged wage increases.