Questions and answers: The rail strike is over – but the buses could soon be at a standstill

The train drivers' union GDL ended its strike at the railway early on Monday morning and the company is working with the regular timetable again.

Questions and answers: The rail strike is over – but the buses could soon be at a standstill

The train drivers' union GDL ended its strike at the railway early on Monday morning and the company is working with the regular timetable again. After the previous industrial disputes, the return to normal operations was achieved quite quickly in most regions - but after five days of strike and the surprising early end of the strike, is that possible again this time? An overview of the most important questions:

At least that's what Deutsche Bahn hopes. “From 2 a.m. on Monday we will try to operate as normal as possible on long-distance transport,” said a spokeswoman for the group at the weekend. “Of course there will be some restrictions in the course of Monday,” she emphasized. In regional traffic, Deutsche Bahn expects regional differences when restarting after the strike. “There will certainly still be a bit of jerking here and there on Monday,” said the spokeswoman.

No. The railway had lifted the train connection for tickets during the strike period so that passengers could flexibly postpone their trips and, if necessary, only make up for them after the strike. This offer remains in place despite the agreement between the railways and the German Locomotive Drivers' Union (GDL) regarding the early end of the strike. “All passengers who would like to postpone their trip originally planned for Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 to Monday, January 29th, 2024 can continue to use their ticket at a later date,” the railway said. The train connection has been lifted.

If you want to take the train on Monday, you should keep an eye on the timetable information on the train website or in the DB Navigator app. “It is now our turn to transfer all of our timetable information to the information media so that everyone knows what is possible on Monday,” said spokeswoman Anja Bröker on Saturday afternoon. In addition, thousands of train journeys and employee shifts would be replanned over the weekend so that the restart on Monday morning goes smoothly.

At least the next five weeks up to and including March 3rd are likely to remain without any further labor disputes at the railway. The group has agreed with the GDL to negotiate new collective agreements in camera from February 5th and, if necessary, with moderators. The aim is to reach a conclusion by the beginning of March, the railway said. If this succeeds, further strikes at Deutsche Bahn would be ruled out in the next few months.

Longer strikes are then possible again at any time. Since the strike vote among the GDL members, union leader Claus Weselsky has been allowed to use this method at any time, provided that no labor court stops him. The union and the company have agreed that the negotiation period can be extended beyond March 3rd. If the negotiation offensive fails completely, the signs are likely to point to escalation and industrial action again.

After the warning strike at the railways ends, there is a risk of work stoppages on buses and trains in large parts of Germany. The Verdi union wants to provide information on Monday (3 p.m.) about possible warning strikes in local public transport in several federal states. For several days now, the union has been negotiating collective agreements in local public transport in all states except Bavaria. In some countries it is about higher wages, in other places the so-called collective agreements, i.e. the working conditions, are being renegotiated. According to the union, the collective bargaining round will affect more than 130 municipal companies and around 90,000 employees in the cities and districts.

The burden on employees and the staff shortage in public transport have been increasing, Verdi announced before the press conference. Solutions must therefore be found quickly to bring about relief. The previous negotiations in the federal states have all remained unsuccessful.

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