GDL with its own temporary work agency
“Dampfhammer-Clausi” Bahn wants to snatch away the train drivers
06/05/2023, 6:30 p.m
The train drivers’ union (GDL) wants to enter into negotiations with Deutsche Bahn with high wage demands. But GDL boss Weselsky has another trump card up his sleeve: With a new temporary employment agency, they want to snatch the staff away from the railways.
GDL boss Claus Weselsky wants to fight for more wages and less working hours for thousands of railway employees – and then snatch their train drivers away from the railway companies. In the forthcoming collective bargaining negotiations, the train drivers’ union GDL wants to push through 555 euros more per hour, a reduction in working hours to 35 hours for shift workers without a proportionate wage reduction and 3000 euros as an inflation compensation premium. Weselsky announced in Berlin that the collective agreements should have a maximum term of twelve months.
Above all, another announcement by the head of the union caused a surprise: the GDL had founded a cooperative that wanted to act as a temporary agency for engine drivers in the medium term. In short: GDL indirectly wants to become an employer itself and hire a professional group in which there is already a clear shortage of skilled workers – an extremely unusual constellation. First, this cooperative should negotiate a collective agreement – of course with the GDL.
Weselsky wants to undermine the Collective Bargaining Act and also what he sees as immoral decisions on the DB board of directors with a cooperative in which only GDL members can purchase shares in the cooperative. Train drivers are then to be hired as employees, who will be loaned out by the cooperative to railway companies. That was a declaration of war on the “red giants”, i.e. the DB, said Weselsky. He himself is “outside” in the cooperative, he has only privately subscribed to cooperative shares.
“The people who are our members are tired of being bullied by an employer who stuffs their own pockets, goes through life immorally and tells those who bring value to be modest,” Weselsky said . Whether the cooperative idea can work is completely open. Ultimately, train drivers at DB would have to quit their secure jobs and take on the “Fair Train eG” venture for Weselsky’s plan to work.
Intermediate certificate and steam hammer
The resentment among the GDL members of the railways was clearly to lead in the question and answer session after the presentation of the tariff demands. In order to demonstrate the will to emigrate, the members should request an interim certificate from the railways, said a GDL member in the group. “Then the employer will get pretty weak knees.” A train driver on the Munich S-Bahn scolded the train, saying the company was pissing him off. “Hats off to the tariff demands,” he continued. “Clausi-Mausi” got the “steam hammer” out, as hoped.
What Weselsky describes as a “risk” is actually a calculation that can only work out. Although the GDL is less strongly represented in the railway companies than the EVG, the cooperative is a powerful means of exerting pressure. Because the railway cannot afford a major bloodletting. The railways are already missing around 1,500 train drivers, and by 2030 there will probably be more than 74,000 due to aging. Weselsky also never tires of mentioning the shortage of skilled workers and young talent.
Negotiations between GDL and Deutsche Bahn will begin at the end of October after the end of the peace obligation. But because the union will already be negotiating wage increases with other rail companies beforehand, it has already presented the demand.