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The Strike on German Railways Continues; Transport Collapse Looms

The Strike on German Railways Continues; Transport Collapse Looms
photo: Martin Baertges / Flickr/DB 446 016 seen in Heidelberg, Germany
12 / 01 / 2024

The strike on the railways in Germany, initiated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) freight train drivers on Tuesday, continues. Colleagues from passenger transport joined them at night.

The protest, used by the German train drivers' union (Gewerkschaft Deutscher Lokomotivführer, or GDL) to fight for higher wages and shorter working hours, is expected to last until Friday evening. The disruption associated with the strike will affect not only traffic across Germany but also result in the cancellation of some services from the Czech Republic, Austria, and other European countries. Deutsche Bahn has issued an emergency timetable that provides for the cancellation of approximately eighty percent of normal long-distance services.

Berlin Alexanderplatz during strike in November 2023 / REUTERS / Public domain

Regional services are also being significantly reduced, although the extent of these restrictions will vary from region to region, the carrier has warned. Even after the strike is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. on Friday, temporary disruptions can be expected. Germany's national carrier sought to stop the strike-through legal action at a labor court in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening but without success.

The strike in Germany is not exclusively affecting DB's train drivers. They have now also been joined by workers from the railway company Transdev, who have taken an active part in the ongoing protests. In solidarity, they have declared their opposition to the working conditions and other problems that are now occurring on the German railways.