After the chaos of the past few days, calm has returned. The train conductors’ strike is over, but the wage dispute has not yet been resolved.
After the two-day train conductors’ strike, most trains in Germany have returned to normal. Traffic started normally in the early hours of the morning, said a spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn in Berlin. However, there might still be restrictions in individual cases. “We ask our passengers to inform themselves in the digital media of Deutsche Bahn before starting their journey,” he said.
The German Locomotive Drivers Union (GDL) ended its strike in passenger and freight traffic at 2 a.m., as announced. The GDL wants to impose higher wages and better working conditions with the strike. More strikes are possible, but there should be no action this weekend. The GDL wants to discuss the next steps in the coming week. The union wants to take stock of its Friday morning strike in Berlin. Member solidarity was enormous across all occupational groups, the union announced earlier. “They all showed Deutsche Bahn the red card.”
It was reported Friday morning in the regions that rail traffic had normalized. In the east of the republic, particularly affected by the strike, no more failure is to be expected, said a spokesman for the railways. “Overall it looks very good.” In Hamburg, the S-Bahn was back on schedule. At the Berlin S-Bahn, operations had started very well, he said. There are only a few restrictions on two lines.
According to the union, the infrastructure was also affected in the case of the strike, which had already started in freight traffic on Tuesday evening. For the first time, there was a strike in six interlocking companies, as well as parts of the workshops and administration. According to the railways, the significantly reduced alternate schedule could be used, and about a quarter of the otherwise usual trips were offered in long-haul traffic.
Deutsche Bahn and GDL are fighting for a 3.2 percent wage increase in the collective bargaining round. However, it is disputed when the increase will take effect and how long the new collective agreement should apply. Corporate pensions are also a controversial issue. Deutsche Bahn wants to keep the costs of the collective agreement low because it suffered high losses during the Corona crisis. In addition, the federal government, as the owner, also demanded savings in the group in exchange for billions of aid.
There has been a collective agreement with the largest railway and transportation union for almost a year. At the start of 2022, employees will receive 1.5% more money. Terminations for operational reasons are excluded. However, the GDL does not want to accept a zero round this year and is also claiming a corona bonus of 600 euros. Union leader Claus Weselsky threatens more strikes if the railway does not submit an improved offer.