The EVG has sounded the alarm on the consequences of what they term a managerial failure that the workforce should not bear.
Plans unveiled by Deutsche Bahn signal a drastic downsizing move that targets approximately 1,800 jobs in the combined transport sector of its DB Cargo AG subsidiary. The looming budget discussions for the year 2024 have yet to determine the extent of federal funding allocated to rail freight transport, specifically for single wagonload transport. The EVG has highlighted the critical nature of this funding, without which the entirety of single-car rail traffic faces extinction. This threat not only undermines the federal climate objectives but also places countless additional jobs in jeopardy.
In a bid to stabilise the future of rail freight in Germany, the EVG advocates for a significant uplift in financial support starting from 2024, calling for an increase in single wagon transport support to 350 million euros, route price support upped to 400 million euros, and system price support to 100 million euros. Moreover, they assert the need for a robust 45 billion euro state investment to enhance the rail network by 2027.
The union has taken its appeal directly to the political leaders through a written plea, emphasising the pivotal role of fiscal backing in nurturing eco-friendly rail freight transport amid ongoing budgetary talks. The EVG argues that this financial commitment is crucial for fostering climate action, bolstering industrial growth, and preserving thousands of jobs.
EVG chairman Martin Burkert expressed grave concerns over the potential fallout: “Should our worst fears be realised, it could herald the demise of single-wagon rail traffic.” He underscored the indispensable nature of this system for Germany’s steel and chemical sectors. He warned of the dire repercussions, including the inundation of German roads with an extra 40,000 trucks daily, which would push the nation’s motorways to the brink.
The clock is ticking for Germany's rail freight industry as it stands at a crossroads, with its future heavily reliant on the upcoming budgetary decisions.