Deutsche Bahn drivers' strike to bring transport to standstill
Deutsche Bahn urges passengers to reschedule their journeys until after strike
Train drivers in Germany are set to go out on strike from 10pm on November 15 to 6pm on November 16, meaning the majority of long-distance and regional transport in the country will be cancelled or significantly delayed. S-Bahn traffic in Berlin will also be affected.
During the strike, Deutsche Bahn will be running an emergency train schedule, with the small number of trains that are running including extra carriages and seats, but the international company has said that this will not guarantee that there is enough space for every passenger who has booked.
For this reason, passengers have been urged not to travel at all or to reschedule their journeys to another day. Tickets already purchased for Wednesday and Thursday can be used at a later date. "The ticket is valid for the journey to the original destination, even if the route is changed. Seat reservations can be cancelled free of charge,” said Deutsche Bahn.
GDL and DB to continue negotiations on Thursday
The strike comes ahead of negotiations on Thursday and Friday between Deutsche Bahn bosses and the GDL union over increasing salaries and improving working conditions for 10.000 employees. The GDL is demanding 555 euros more for employees each month and a reduced working week from 38 hours to 35 hours with no pay cut. These terms would be applied to 10.000 employees.
Union leader Claus Weselsky told Tagesschau that “employees' dissatisfaction is great, their concerns are legitimate”, accusing Deutsche Bahn of stalling for time in pay negotiations and not recognising the rising cost of living for workers.
In response, company human resources director Martin Seiler told the broadcaster that the strike was “completely unnecessary”, accusing the GDL of harming industrial relations and not being reasonable in negotiations - Deutsche Bahn’s offer, rejected by the GDL, would see employee wages gradually rise by 11 percent over almost three years.
Though the GDL is the smaller of the two unions at Deutsche Bahn, EVG being the biggest, the fact that a high number of GDL members are train drivers means that the union has the potential to greatly disrupt train traffic during a strike.
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