Germany: Another major strike hits rail transport

Germany: Another major strike hits rail transport
© mirokola on Pixabay

The strike, driven by demands for reduced working hours and higher wages amid rising inflation, is expected to cause widespread travel disruption across the country.

Germany is bracing for another mass strike by railway workers. Negotiations between the German Locomotive Drivers' Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have been marked by several significant developments and strikes.

Last year, the GDL called several strikes, including a notable 20-hour strike in November. The upcoming rail strike in Germany, which started on 9 January and will last for three days, is primarily the result of a pay dispute between the German Locomotive Drivers' Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn (DB), the main national rail operator. At the heart of the dispute is the union's demand that shift workers' working hours be reduced from 38 to 35 hours a week without a pay cut. The union is also demanding a pay rise of €555 per month, plus a one-off payment of up to €3,000 to counter inflation. In response, Deutsche Bahn has offered an 11 percent pay rise over 32 months, which the union has rejected.

The strike is expected to have a significant impact on both freight and passenger rail services across Germany. Freight trains are not running from the evening of 9 January to the evening of 12 January, causing significant disruption to the movement of goods. Passenger services will be affected from the early hours of 10 January, with Deutsche Bahn planning to run trains on an emergency timetable, using longer trains on available journeys to accommodate as many people as possible. Previous strikes have caused significant disruption to the network, with only a fraction of scheduled services running.

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