The nationwide strike by train drivers in Deutsche Bahn passenger transport began early Monday morning. “We went on strike punctually at two in the morning,” said an employee of the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL). The GDL is thus extending its strike from freight to passenger transport as planned. At 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, millions of travelers must prepare for massive restrictions, especially in long-distance traffic. In addition to train drivers, infrastructure workers – for example in signal boxes – are again being ordered to stop their work.
An exact assessment of the effects of the strike will only be possible after the start of operations in the morning, Deutsche Bahn announced overnight. About a quarter of long-distance trains are therefore expected to run. A train should pass every two hours, especially on some of the main axes. But the offer will be distributed very differently from one region to another, he said. Cancellations and train delays would become the norm. Freight traffic has been on strike since Saturday.
The railroad failed on Sunday when it tried to avoid a strike in passenger traffic. She agreed to negotiate a corona bonus for employees, one of GDL’s demands. With this, “we are responding to an important trade union concern,” Human Resources Director Martin Seiler said on Sunday. According to Bahn, the money should be paid by 2021. Seiler did not give an exact amount. The GDL had requested a corona premium of 600 euros. Other points of contention are the increase in table wages, the length of the collective agreement and the retirement provision.
GDL boss Claus Weselsky called the railroad’s offer a “smoking candle” on Sunday. GDL is basically ready to negotiate, “but only on the basis of an offer that deserves the name”.