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GDL rail strikes: Weselsky's train drivers' union is relying on escalation

2024-03-02T20:54:32.257Z

Highlights: GDL rail strikes: Weselsky's train drivers' union is relying on escalation. As of: March 2, 2024, 9:35 p.m By: Amy Walker CommentsPressSplit After four weeks of negotiations, the collective bargaining talks between GDL and Bahn collapsed. The result could be indefinite strikes. The GDL had already received permission for indefinite strikes in a strike vote at the end of last year. Whether this will happen is uncertain - but the longer the dispute lasts, the more likely such drastic measures become.



As of: March 2, 2024, 9:35 p.m

By: Amy Walker

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Press

Split

After four weeks of negotiations, the collective bargaining talks between GDL and Bahn collapsed.

The result could be indefinite strikes.

Berlin - The dispute over the new collective agreement between the train drivers' union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn is threatening to flare up again.

After a month of negotiations that took place without any public comment, bad news for rail travelers was announced on Thursday (February 29): collective bargaining has failed.

This makes new rail strikes seem inevitable.

The railway expressed itself in an angry statement in which it accused the GDL of a lack of willingness to compromise.

The GDL, in turn, accused the railway of breaching its peacekeeping obligation.

GDL and Bahn continue to argue: indefinite strikes possible

A spokesman for the railway explained on Thursday that the GDL had prematurely “cancelled” the negotiations, which were actually scheduled to last until Sunday.

The union accused the railway of “leaking” negotiation details to the media, but did not comment further on the negotiations.

The DB spokesman explained that the GDL had left the negotiating table, “despite extensive concessions” and “despite the use of two experienced moderators”.

Until the end, the union representatives “dogmatically insisted on a 35-hour week with full wage compensation.”

The moderators Thomas de Maizière and Daniel Günther “also made compromise suggestions regarding weekly working hours”.

Martin Seiler, DB's human resources director, explained: "We were prepared to take steps to reduce working hours that went far beyond our last offer."

Nevertheless, further strikes threatened.

“In the last four weeks, the train drivers’ union hasn’t moved a single millimeter.” However, there can be no solution without compromises.

GDL boss Claus Weselsky speaks at a rally in Nuremberg.

© Daniel Karmann/dpa

The GDL explained that the railway had provided information to the

Bild

newspaper “in the usual manner”.

The newspaper published details of the negotiations.

However, the GDL has not spoken to Bild

“for years”

because it reports “always in a tendentious manner and already assigning blame in advance”.

Therefore the information could only come from the railway.

The GDL further stated that it would not comment on the negotiations and announced a press conference for next Monday at 11 a.m.

When the round of negotiations began at the beginning of February, silence was agreed until this Sunday; unlike the railway, the GDL would stick to it.

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Rail strikes possible next week - arbitration required

The statements from both sides show how messy the situation has become.

The GDL had already received permission for indefinite strikes in a strike vote at the end of last year.

Whether this will happen is uncertain - but the longer the dispute lasts, the more likely such drastic measures become.

An indefinite strike is a union's strongest tool - and therefore one that it will only use at the very end.

It is therefore unsurprising that the day after the announcement there were calls for arbitration.

“The load limit for passengers has been reached,” said Detlef Neuß, chairman of the Pro Bahn passenger association, to the German Press Agency.

“We are calling for mediation.

An agreement is urgently needed.” The tariff conflict that has been going on for months is an unreasonable burden for the passengers and can no longer be negotiated.

“The passengers are not collective bargaining partners, but they suffer the most from the conflict.” Last year, the collective bargaining dispute between the EVG union and the railway could only be ended through arbitration.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-03-02

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