Millions of commuters and holidaymakers are hit for the second time in a short time by a strike at Deutsche Bahn. From Monday morning at 2 a.m., the GDL train drivers’ union again paralyzed rail traffic across the country for 48 hours. Traffic is not expected to return to normal until 2 a.m. on Wednesday. GDL boss Claus Weselsky announced Friday at a press conference in Berlin. The strike in the transport of goods starts on Saturday.
Massive handicaps are again to be expected. During the strike, around 75 percent of all long-distance trains and 60 percent of all local trains operated by Deutsche Bahn are likely to break down again – just like last week during the first strike. With the announcement of the boss of GDL, the social conflict escalates at the railroad. Insiders predict the strike could last for weeks. It is also possible that there is such a harsh argument as in 2014/15, when the GDL only forced the railroad to give in after many months and ever-increasing waves of strikes.
Because this time the positions are at least as incompatible. An agreement is indeed not far off on the issue of wages. The GDL is calling for a total wage increase of 3.2 percent. The railway also offers it, but less quickly and with a much longer duration than that required by the union. The labor dispute has escalated, however, mainly because the GDL is over a power struggle with the group and the larger rival union EVG for influence over the railways. The railway is forced to apply the unified tariff law for the first time. According to this, a collective agreement only applies when the union concerned has a majority. According to the railway, GDL only has it in 16 of the 71 individual companies in the group that control long-distance traffic. The GDL complains about it in “a lot more” than half of these companies.
The railroad announced accommodating regulations for travelers for trains that are still running. If a train is canceled due to the strike, or if travelers miss a connection, they can change trains at no additional cost – if one is running again. In the case of offers such as a reduced fare ticket, Deutsche Bahn cuts the rail connection. Train travelers can also change trains if they expect their train to reach its destination more than 20 minutes late. However, passengers must first pay for any surcharges for faster trains themselves, but may be reimbursed for the money.
Even without a strike, the following applies: If a delay of 60 minutes or more is to be expected, customers who do not start their trip or must turn back are reimbursed. In any case, “if the trip has become unnecessary according to the initial travel plans”, specifies the railway. If you get on the train despite the strike and make the trip, the usual compensation rules apply: in the event of a 60-minute delay, 25% of the ticket price, from 120 minutes 50%.
Deutsche Bahn has again called on the GDL to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible. She called the strikes “superfluous” and “unnecessary” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/. “We need a negotiating partner who is not only concerned with strikes, but also with solutions at the table,” explained The Group. While GDL accuses the railroad of still not submitting a new offer, the railroad criticizes the fact that its latest offer has yet to be negotiated.