A conductor before departure (archive picture): Conversations with difficult omens
Photo: picture alliance / dpa
Negotiations are in difficult times: The corona pandemic has left Deutsche Bahn empty trains and billions in losses.
Nevertheless, the train drivers' union GDL is now insisting on significantly higher salaries for the train staff.
After the railway had long rejected the demands as excessive, both sides are now starting collective bargaining.
Bahn personnel director Martin Seiler and GDL boss Claus Weselsky want to meet on Friday for a first round of talks in Berlin, as both sides announced.
The GDL is demanding 4.8 percent more wages and a corona bonus of 1,300 euros for almost all rail staff in Germany.
In addition, there are demands such as more security guards on the trains as protection for train attendants.
The larger railway and transport union EVG has already concluded a corona restructuring collective agreement with the financially badly troubled railway, which will run until 2023.
Among other things, it provides for wage increases of 1.5 percent.
The railway had rejected the GDL demands.
They would increase staff costs by 46 percent.
This year's collective bargaining round is particularly complicated by the fact that both EVG and GDL claim to negotiate with rail staff for almost all employees in Germany.
The GDL had canceled an initial negotiation date on the claims and declared that it must first be ensured that all around 185,000 employees would benefit from a deal.
Meanwhile, the railway implemented the collective bargaining law: According to this, a collective agreement only applies where the respective union has a majority.
According to the railway, the GDL only has a majority in 16 of 300 sub-operations where their conclusion would apply.
Concrete results are not expected in the first round of talks.
Since the collective agreement with the GDL expired at the end of February, the GDL has been on legal strike since then.
mic / Reuters