GDL is not thinking about shortening: three-day rail strike has begun

GDL doesn’t think about shortening
Three-day rail strike has begun

The railway’s urgent application failed and the GDL started its strike. An emergency timetable applies to long-distance transport; those who can should postpone their journey. In regional transport, the restrictions vary. Some commuters are also likely to encounter disabilities in road traffic.

The GDL train drivers’ union, which lasted several days, also began in passenger transport. Numerous employees have stopped work since 2 a.m. The strike in freight transport started yesterday evening at 6 p.m. The industrial action is expected to last until Friday evening at 6 p.m. Deutsche Bahn’s emergency timetable is once again in effect, with a good 80 percent of the usual service being canceled in long-distance transport. There are also far-reaching restrictions in regional transport, although the severity varies from region to region, the railway said. The company had previously failed in a final attempt at the Hesse State Labor Court to legally overturn the industrial dispute.

The strike coincides with the nationwide farmers’ protests, which could lead to traffic disruptions again today. Rallyes, rallies and blockades on motorway entrances have been announced – this threatens to be a strenuous day for many commuters. Travelers who travel with private rail competitors are likely to have fewer problems. Many regional rail operators are not on strike and Flixtrain is operating its lines on long-haul routes as usual.

The strike at the railway is the third and longest so far in the current collective bargaining dispute between the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn. The railway company Transdev is also on strike. Restrictions can still be expected in the hours after the strike officially ends on Friday evening. Passengers can find out whether their own train is running or not via the railway’s usual information channels. The emergency timetable is already included there. Passengers are asked to postpone their planned journeys between Wednesday and Friday. According to Deutsche Bahn, the train connection for all tickets during the strike period from January 10th to 12th has been lifted. Customers can still start their journeys in the days afterwards.

Wissing appeals to collective bargaining partners

The railway asked the GDL on Tuesday evening to return to the negotiating table. Transport Minister Volker Wissing also called on both sides to negotiate. “A way has to be found that both sides can get along with. To do this, we have to talk to each other,” the FDP politician told “Bild”. GDL boss Claus Weselsky, however, emphasized that it was up to the railway to present an improved offer. “The question of shortening the strike is not up for debate,” the 64-year-old made clear.

Since the beginning of November, the GDL has been fighting with the railways and other railway companies for higher tariffs. The core of the current collective bargaining dispute is the union’s demand for a reduction in weekly working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours. The railway considers this requirement to be unfulfillable. She is only willing to talk to the union about expanding existing working time models. Union boss Weselsky rejects this and points to agreements that have already been agreed with the smaller railway companies Netinera and Go Ahead. The GDL had implemented the required reduction in working hours there in the past few weeks. The outstanding degrees should now also be structured according to this model.

In the current tariff dispute, the GDL has already called for warning strikes twice, but these lasted a maximum of 24 hours in passenger transport. In December, the union let its members vote on indefinite strikes. Around 97 percent of participants were in favor of this. Since then, longer strikes have been possible.

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