The German Locomotive Drivers’ Association (GDL) announced the result of the vote on possible strikes in Deutsche Bahn on Tuesday at 11.00 am. GDL chief Klaus Wesselsky expects a high approval rate “over 90 percent,” he said Monday. The labor hurdle is at least 75% approval. Wiselsky described collective bargaining with the railways as a “failure”, and the railway offer was “too little”.
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The head of the GDL has deliberately left open about whether details regarding the date and scope of the planned strikes will be announced on Tuesday. Another deadline for enhanced offer can also be set. However, in principle, the GDL does not see any restrictions on the location or duration of strikes. Wiselsky promised that the passengers would be informed in time.
In a wage dispute, the railroad company made a second offer to the union. It provides for a 3.2 percent two-step wage increase in addition to other benefits such as retirement provisions and protection against dismissal. The parties to a collective bargaining agreement vary in terms of duration and speed of increases.
The strike would be “an attack on the entire country,” said Martin Seiler, Bahn’s director of personnel. On Monday, a railway spokeswoman said the strikes would hit customers and staff like a “slap in the face”.
This will be Deutsche Bahn’s first strike since December 2018, when EVG invited its members to take part in a labor dispute. The GDL strike was even more difficult in 2014 and 2015. In eight growing waves, train drivers under Wiselsky’s command stopped work and paralyzed large parts of the road network. (AFP / dpa)