Deutsche Bahn had tried to end the strike with an injunction. The group suspects that the five-day strike by locomotive drivers is a political goal that cannot be regulated by a collective agreement.
The GDL train drivers’ union is authorized to continue its massive strike by railway workers. The Frankfurt labor court ruled on Thursday evening in emergency proceedings. Germany’s largest state-owned company had accused the GDL and its boss, Claus Weselsky, of violating applicable law with the longest labor dispute to date. Deutsche Bahn seized the court Thursday morning in Frankfurt, headquarters of the GDL. That same evening, however, judges dismissed the railroad’s claim. For the state enterprise, the decision is a heavy defeat.
Even for rail travelers, hopes that rail traffic will normalize well before the scheduled end of the strike on Tuesday is fading. The most violent labor dispute at the railroad had escalated considerably since Wednesday evening. The railway surprised the GDL a few hours before the start of the strikes Thursday morning with a new offer. In that offer, the railway had responded to demands such as 3.2% more salary and a corona bonus of 600 euros, but had stuck to the goal of a zero lap for this year. The group also continues to strictly reject GDL’s demand for more influence in other parts of the business. The offer was “unacceptable” and “poisoned,” GDL boss Claus Weselsky said on Thursday. The railroad is about to attack the existence of the GDL. The GDL fears that the collective bargaining law could cause it to lose its influence, allowing only the collective agreements of the largest union to come into play.
After the litigation in court, the tone between the company and the union could deteriorate in the coming weeks. Associations are already warning more and more against the long-term consequences of an even more violent labor dispute. If the railways become unpredictable for their customers, they will turn their backs on transportation, warned Gerhard Curth, president of the Railway Customers Association. In a letter to GDL boss Weselsky, Curth called for swift negotiations with the railways: “Think of the people who moved to rural areas and got rid of their cars, trusting the railways.
Train drivers have been on strike in freight transport since Wednesday. There is now a backlog of over 200 trains. “It also means that not all freight trains can be accepted at the borders with Germany,” the railway explained. The GDL strike is also affecting European supply and supply chains.
Fair rules apply to travelers during strike days. If a train is canceled due to the strike or if passengers miss a connection, they can change trains or return the ticket at no additional cost. Tickets purchased on strike days will also remain valid until September 17 and can be used flexibly. In the case of economy fares and super economy fares, the rail link is canceled. However, the railroad once again called on its customers to postpone trips if possible in the coming days.