After the 20-hour warning strike by the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL), rail traffic in Germany has largely been running smoothly again since the early hours of the morning. “The long-distance and regional trains have been running according to the regular timetable almost everywhere since operations began early in the morning,” the railway announced on Friday morning. The warning strike ended on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Nevertheless, it took a few hours until rail operations were fully operational again. Train cancellations and delays were also reported in the evening and on Friday night.
In freight transport, however, the effects of the labor dispute are likely to be felt for a little longer. The railway had already announced before the end of the warning strike that it could take several days until the traffic jam of hundreds of freight trains due to the industrial dispute was cleared. According to the railway, the emergency timetable worked reliably. In some cases even more trips could have been offered in regional and S-Bahn transport than originally planned. With the 20-hour warning strike, the GDL tried to increase the pressure early on in the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. The union is demanding, among other things, 555 euros more per week and an inflation compensation bonus for a period of twelve months. The sticking point, however, is the demand for a reduction in working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours per week with full wage compensation. The railway rejects this as impossible.
The first round of negotiations ended last week without any agreement on the content. The next meeting was scheduled for this Thursday and Friday. However, the railway canceled the conversation after the GDL announced a warning strike. The next round is scheduled for the end of next week in Berlin. It was initially unclear whether this would happen.