Despite a new offer from Deutsche Bahn, the third round of the strike by the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) in passenger transport has been underway since Thursday morning. The labor dispute began as scheduled at 2 a.m., the union strike leadership said on demand. The labor dispute in the Group’s freight transport had already started on Wednesday afternoon. The leader of the GDL train drivers’ union, Claus Weselsky, rejected the railway’s new tariff offer as unacceptable and announced the continuation of the ongoing strike.
The management’s offer was “not acceptable in terms of content,” Weselsky said in the ARD on Thursday. He accused the web guide of being “facing Janus”. This attitude has become evident with the new offering. The real goal of management is to get rid of GDL. From Weselsky’s perspective, the group is asking that the scope of the collective agreement be narrowed down so that it does not apply to new members. “The purpose of the railroad council is to destroy the existence of the GDL,” Weselsky said. The offer is also not acceptable as it includes a zero round for this year. Weselsky added that the union would “of course” continue to negotiate with Deutsche Bahn.
Until probably Tuesday morning, rail customers will have to prepare for the moment for severe restrictions on the group’s long-distance and regional transport. Deutsche Bahn has announced that it will run one in four long-distance trains. In regional and S-Bahn traffic, around 40 percent of the usual range of services should be available.
An overview of significant failures
In regional traffic, the RE1 between Bremen and Oldenburg should run every two hours, as should the RE9 between Bremen Hauptbahnhof and Osnabrück. Passengers are encouraged to use the NordWestBahn on the Bremen Hbf and Bremerhaven-Lehe section. As a private railway company, NordWestBahn is not affected by the strike. The S5 to Hanover Airport only runs hourly between Hanover Airport and Hameln / Bad Pyrmont – between Hameln and Paderborn every three hours. The S4 lines (Bennemühlen – Hannover Hbf – Hildesheim Hbf) should be discontinued. Alternatively, the erixx trains serve the Hannover Hbf and Hildesheim Hbf lines.
Schleswig-Holstein / Hamburg
Hamburg S-Bahn passengers should be prepared that lines S31, S2 and S11 are not running. When operating lines S1, S21 and S3, an attempt is made to maintain a 20 minute cycle. Some regional trains in Schleswig-Holstein are canceled. A replacement rail service must be put in place for the affected routes. According to Deutsche Bahn, the Sylt shuttle is not affected, the regular timetable is operated here. Between Westerland (Sylt) and Niebüll there is mainly a two-hour service with compression at peak times.
In regional and S-Bahn traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia, only three lines are expected to run as planned, as can be seen from a list of the railway: the RE 17 (Hagen-Warburg), the RB 52 (Dortmund- Hagen) and S 5 (Dortmund-Hagen). All other lines are canceled or have limited traffic. The railway plans to use buses on some routes.
In Munich and Nuremberg, the S-Bahn should run at least every hour, as a spokesperson for the railway said.
Berlin / Brandenburg
In Berlin, the strike particularly affects the S-Bahn. This informs you online that the S1, S2, S25, S3, S46, S5, S7, S85 and S9 are running every 20 minutes and the S8 every 40 minutes. The S26, the circular railways S41 and S42, the S45, S47 and S75 do not run at all. The railway reports online that regional traffic in Berlin and Brandenburg is also significantly limited. For example, the FEX lines between the main station and BER airport, the RB11 between Frankfurt (Oder) and Cottbus and the RB20 between Orianienburg and Potsdam are canceled without replacement. For some lines such as the RE1, RE3 or RE10, a reduced replacement schedule with trains and buses is to be offered.
S-Bahn lines in the greater Stuttgart area should run hourly.
With the strike scheduled for more than five days in the ongoing collective bargaining round in the railroad, the GDL wants to press its demands for a total of 3.2 percent more money over a 28-month period . Deutsche Bahn initially aimed for a much longer term of around 40 months. The GDL had requested a 28-month delay. With the new offer, it now announces 36 months and a corona bonus of up to 600 euros. In addition, the railway offered 3.2 percent more wages in two stages. However, the two sides disagree on when these measures should enter into force. The GDL wants the first tariff level of 1.7% to be paid in the current year.
“There is no longer any reason to strike,” said Martin Seiler, director of human resources at DB, after the railroad submitted its offer. The industrial action must be stopped. The railway wants to meet the central demands of the GDL. The union must give up its “blocking attitude” and come to the negotiating table.
Even before the previous round of strikes last week, the public railway had promised a corona bonus and thus hoped to be able to avoid the labor dispute at the time. GDL boss Claus Weselsky rejected the initiative soon after and criticized, among other things, that the railway had not given a specific number. The maximum bonus of 600 euros now offered corresponds to the demands of the union.