Status: 08.12.2023, 19:05 PM
By: Sandra Sporer
On the first weekend of Advent, the snow paralyzed rail traffic – and now the GDL again. The passenger association has also criticised the timing of the strike.
Munich – In parts of Germany, rail traffic had not yet returned to normal on Thursday (7 December). In Munich, for example, many S-Bahn trains only ran on part of their actual route. And then on Wednesday (6 December) came the bad news that the GDL will carry out another warning strike from Thursday evening until Friday evening. As a result, many Deutsche Bahn trains were cancelled in the afternoon – much to the displeasure of the passengers. The very unfavorable timing and the again very tight lead time brought the union some criticism. Even a meteorologist turned to the GDL with a clear message.
Rail strike after snow chaos earns criticism from many sides
Meteorologist Dominik Jung urgently appealed to train drivers to postpone the strike in view of the weather conditions. "The rail strike should be urgently cancelled tomorrow, Friday. It even endangers human lives due to the high risk of accidents on the roads," said Jung with a view to the weather forecast, which predicted freezing rain and thus slippery roads.
The PRO BAHN e.V. passenger association also finds the timing of the GDL strike anything but well chosen. At the request of Merkur.de from IPPEN. MEDIA, the national chairman of PRO BAHN, Detlef Neuß, says: "The annoyance of the passengers is understandable for us. (...) Some routes in Bavaria are still closed. Now a rudimentary normal operation is prevented by a strike at the weekend of all times. A different date would certainly have been better for the strike."
Many travellers fell by the wayside because of the rail strike. The timing of the strike – shortly after the snow chaos – has been criticised by many. © Matthias Balk/dpa
The passenger association has been calling for a contractually regulated strike timetable for years, which reliably maintains at least some of the connections, the PRO-BAHN federal chairman continued. Deutsche Bahn has drawn up such an emergency timetable. Nevertheless, many travelers were stranded.
Thus, Neuß clearly restrains himself in his criticism compared to the meteorologist Jung and also emphasizes once again explicitly: "In principle, our association does not question the right to strike as a fundamental right." He adds: "On a positive note, the GDL has announced that this will be the last strike this year and that the next one will not start before 07.01.2024."
Travellers vent their anger about the renewed rail strike online
Much less cautious were chosen by many travellers who, thanks to the strike, did not reach their destination or were not able to start their journey at all. Many vented their anger on social media. For example, one user wrote: "It can't be that the announcement keeps coming that only trains are showing and then still no train is coming!" "Contingency plan! That I don't laugh," said another.
One user gave the train drivers a gloomy prognosis for the future because of the strike: "The permanent rail strikes with simultaneous staff shortages will promote the driverless and remote-controlled railway carriages, suburban trains, etc. and they will soon follow the example of France!"
However, there are also some online who show solidarity with the strikers. Others simply take it with humor. One tweet reads: "Rail strike in Germany. See positively! There is no defective heating, on-board restaurant or switch malfunction to get upset about." (sp)