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Deutsche Bahn is working on contingency plan for Christmas: What alternatives you have in the event of strikes

2023-12-07T12:28:35.307Z

Highlights: Deutsche Bahn is working on contingency plan for Christmas: What alternatives you have in the event of strikes. GDL boss Claus Weselsky has already indicated that strikes during the Christmas season will not be ruled out. ICE trains as long as possible, including a 376-metre-long XXL ICE with 918 seats. These trains are to be used on particularly popular routes, for example from Hamburg via Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart to Munich. The sticking point could be the GDL's demand for a reduction in weekly working hours from 38 to 35 hours for employees in shift work.



Status: 07.12.2023, 13:21 PM

By: Franziska Kaindl

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The train drivers' union GDL does not rule out rail strikes during the Christmas season. Deutsche Bahn is already planning for emergencies – but what if all else fails?

After the collective bargaining agreement between the train drivers' union GDL and Deutsche Bahn expired at the end of October, both parties are back in negotiations. However, GDL boss Claus Weselsky has already indicated that strikes during the Christmas season will not be ruled out. "Why should I only make a small fuss in any form if I know that it has no effect on the other side?" he said in an interview with the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

What does the GDL demand from Deutsche Bahn?

Among other things, the GDL is demanding at least 555 euros more per month as well as an inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros. In return, Deutsche Bahn has made an offer of a pay increase of around 11 percent in total and an inflation compensation bonus of 2,850 euros. The sticking point, however, could be the GDL's demand for a reduction in weekly working hours from 38 to 35 hours for employees in shift work – Deutsche Bahn has not yet responded to this demand.

Deutsche Bahn is already planning for possible strikes during the Christmas season. © Arnulf Hettrich/Imago

Deutsche Bahn is working on an emergency plan for the Christmas season

In the first round of negotiations, Deutsche Bahn had proposed to the GDL a peace obligation at Christmas – in return for a 1,500 euro inflation compensation bonus in December. However, this proposal was rejected by the union. Now, according to Bild am Sonntag, Deutsche Bahn is working on an emergency timetable for the Christmas holidays.

The solution: ICE trains as long as possible, including a 376-metre-long XXL ICE with 918 seats. In comparison, a normal ICE train is 200 meters long and has 400 to 450 seats. These trains are to be used on particularly popular routes, for example from Hamburg via Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart to Munich. Nevertheless, with the emergency plan, less than 20 percent of long-distance trains would be able to run as scheduled, i.e. 140 instead of 700 in one day.

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What are the alternatives to travelling by train?

In view of the uncertain situation, many train passengers will already be thinking about alternatives, after all, most of them want to be home with their loved ones in time for the holidays. But what alternatives are there if the train were to be cancelled due to the threat of strikes?

At least as far as rail travel is concerned, passengers can switch to other providers who will not be affected by possible strikes. First and foremost is Flixtrain, which also serves connections between Germany's major cities, for example from Berlin via Frankfurt/Main to Stuttgart or from Hamburg to Cologne. However, when demand is high, ticket prices rise sharply, so travelers should decide as soon as possible. The same applies to Flixbus – here, too, destinations throughout Germany can be reached by bus, but prices also rise quickly when demand is high.

If you prefer to switch completely to the car, you should keep in mind that it can get very crowded on German motorways, especially before the holidays. So delays are to be expected. However, carpooling services such as BlaBlaCar, mitfahren.de or mitfahrgelegenheit.de can at least be used to carpool and save on travel costs.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-07

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