Thursday, September 02, 2021
For five days
GDL starts strike despite new offer
Despite an improved offer from Deutsche Bahn, the train drivers’ union GDL is sticking to its longest strike to date. As announced, the strike started at two o’clock. Rail customers will have to be prepared for severe restrictions in the next few days.
The train drivers’ union GDL started its strike in passenger transport as planned, despite a new offer from Deutsche Bahn. Until the early hours of the morning there was no official response from the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union to the advance from the railway headquarters. The labor dispute in passenger traffic started as planned at two o’clock, said the strike leadership of the union. The GDL initially did not provide any further information on the progress of what is now the third strike within a few weeks.
If there is no further movement in the tariff conflict, rail customers will have to be prepared for extensive restrictions in long-distance and regional transport by Deutsche Bahn by Tuesday next week. The group had announced that it would run around every fourth long-distance train. In regional and S-Bahn traffic, around 40 percent of the usual range should be available. There has been a strike in freight traffic since Wednesday afternoon. The GDL is planning the longest labor dispute to date in the ongoing collective bargaining dispute.
Shortly after the labor dispute in freight transport began, Deutsche Bahn had submitted a new offer. It contained a corona premium of up to 600 euros and provides for a term of the collective agreement of 36 months, as the state-owned company announced. So far, the railway had offered a term of 40 months and had not quantified the amount of the premium. The offer had been submitted to GDL in writing, it said.
Corona premium was one of the central demands
A corona bonus of 600 euros was one of the union’s central demands. The GDL does not want to go beyond 28 months in terms of the term. In addition, the first tariff level of 1.7 percent is to be paid out for the current year. “We meet the central requirements of the GDL,” said Bahn Personnel Director Martin Seiler about the new offer. “There is no longer any reason for an almost week-long strike.” The GDL must give up its “blocking attitude” and come to the negotiating table. That is not evident for the time being. According to the GDL’s previous plans, the strike should last until Tuesday morning. Whether the GDL would at least shorten the strike due to the offer was still open during the night. The last round of negotiations between the two sides was almost three months ago.