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In Germany, passenger train drivers start their second strike in two weeks

In Germany, passenger train drivers start their second strike in two weeks
photo: Archives/Railway
24 / 08 / 2021

The drivers of passenger trains in Germany from 02.00 CET on Monday began a federal strike, which will last two days and end on Wednesday night. The strike was announced earlier by the GDL.

The union is demanding that DB (Deutsche Bahn) raise wages this year by 1.5% and pay a one-time bonus for 2021 in connection with the pandemic in the amount of € 600. The concern made a response proposal, but the head of GDL Klaus Weselsky did not accept it.

DB 'refused to approve the 600-euro bonus, a decision that inflamed the union and its announcement to extend the strike, which included passenger services, brought the railway operator to an attempt to prevent escalation by adding a temporary bonus to the list of topics.

Rejecting this as a "false offer", GDL's actions continued, with the Secretary General of the European Council of Shippers Godfried Smith saying that the effects were again being felt outside Germany.

The union says the 3.2% increase should take effect immediately, but DB wants to pay a 1.5% increase in January with a 1.7% increase in March, citing financial difficulties - in June its executive Director claims it is "cash bleeding".

But, according to GDL, because DB has "well-paid managers safe at home" while refusing to pay "those who keep trains running", allegations of financial hardship fail.

The strike threatens to paralyze rail links in Germany. During the last strike, which took place in mid-August, 75% of long-distance trains were canceled.