Court rejects urgent application against GDL strike - Bahn appeals

"This strike lacks legitimacy and a basis, explained the general manager of the DB employers' association AGV MOVE, Florian Weh, after the negotiation.

Court rejects urgent application against GDL strike - Bahn appeals

"This strike lacks legitimacy and a basis, explained the general manager of the DB employers' association AGV MOVE, Florian Weh, after the negotiation. "In the interests of our customers, we are therefore doing everything we can to prevent it." The announced strike is one "An unreasonable expectation that is built on sand." The railway's latest offer was an "excellent basis for a compromise," explained Weh. A GDL lawyer, however, was satisfied with the court's decision.

On Sunday evening, the GDL called for a multi-day strike starting on Wednesday. Employees should stop work from 2 a.m. until Friday at 6 p.m. The strike in freight transport at DB Cargo is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

With its application for a strike ban, the railway was based on proceedings initiated last week in which the company accused the GDL of having forfeited its right to negotiate collective agreements by setting up a kind of temporary employment agency for train drivers.

The railway is already preparing for the strike and asked passengers to “postpone their journey if possible” on the days of the strike. There will be an emergency timetable for long-distance transport. In addition, “goodwill regulations” apply, planned trips can be brought forward or rescheduled and the train connection for tickets has been lifted.

The GDL declared the negotiations with DB to have failed at the end of November because the company did not want to negotiate on the union's core demands and in particular a shortening of weekly working hours with full wage compensation. After a first warning strike in November, she initiated a strike vote on tougher industrial action. The result, announced shortly before Christmas and after a second warning strike, resulted in 97 percent support among GDL members for indefinite strikes.

From mid-December until this week there was a “Christmas truce” declared by the GDL. However, the railway did not use this time “to counteract industrial action with a negotiable offer,” explained the GDL. She rejected a new offer from the railway presented on Friday to negotiate more flexible working hours as an “insubstantial and poisonous offer”.

The railway initially strictly rejected negotiations about shorter working hours, citing the shortage of skilled workers. Last week it offered a model with which shift workers could reduce or increase their weekly working hours. The company remained cautious when it came to the issue of wage compensation. It must be clear that there must be compromises in the wage increase if shorter working hours result in additional costs, said DB Human Resources Director Martin Seiler.

The railway has taken the GDL “a big step towards meeting its core demands on working hours,” he added. However, the union rejected the new offer as “dubious” and “misleading”. The railway did not provide any specific figures. The union also referred to successful collective agreements with the railway companies Netinera and Go-Ahead, which, among other things, provide for a gradual reduction in working hours to 35 hours a week without a reduction in wages for shift workers from January 1, 2025.

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