F.Deutsche Bahn guests have to be prepared for another strike from Monday to Wednesday. For the second time in the current collective bargaining round, the union of German locomotive drivers has called on its members to stop working. “They are striking for more wages, to protect their pensions,” said GDL boss Claus Weselsky on Friday in Berlin. The anger among the members at the management is great.
Unlike last week, this time passengers have more time to prepare for the strike. In freight traffic, however, the strike should start on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. In passenger traffic, the strike is expected to start at 2 a.m. on Monday and end at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. The new strike should hit millions of passengers again, including many vacationers. There are still school holidays in ten federal states.
Criticism of Weselsky
Before that, Weselsky had to take criticism from another influential employee representative. Solutions would be fought for at the negotiating table, the GDL boss should return there at the beginning of next week, said the chairman of the German Federation of Trade Unions, Reiner Hoffmann, the Spiegel.
Hoffmann complained that the focus of the dispute was not the interests of the railway employees, but the survivability of the GDL. He pointed out that the train drivers’ union has hardly any or no members in most railway areas – here Weselsky has “no mandate and therefore no legitimation” for a labor dispute. The competing union EVG has significantly more members at the railway.
Quarrel among the unions
The EVG is a member union of the umbrella organization DGB, while the GDL is a member union of the German Association of Civil Servants (DBB). The DBB had recently strengthened the back of the GDL. “If one of our member unions is forced to go on strike, like the GDL is now by DB management, then we stand together,” said DBB Federal Chairman Ulrich Silberbach.
The first, two-day strike by train drivers last week led to massive disruptions in all rail traffic across Germany. Both passenger and freight traffic were affected.
Deutsche Bahn and GDL are fighting for a wage increase of 3.2 percent. It is disputed when the increase will take effect and how long the new collective agreement should apply. The union is calling for a wage increase as early as 2021 and a corona bonus of 600 euros. Deutsche Bahn has so far rejected both; she doesn’t want to pay more money until 2022. The group wants to keep the cost of the deal low due to high losses in the corona crisis.