After EVG ballot: No unlimited strike at the railways

There is no threat of an indefinite strike at Deutsche Bahn in the next few weeks.

After EVG ballot: No unlimited strike at the railways

There is no threat of an indefinite strike at Deutsche Bahn in the next few weeks. In the ballot of the railway and transport union EVG, less than 50 percent of the voters were in favor of such a labor dispute, as the German Press Agency learned at the sidelines of a meeting of the EVG executive board. An indefinite strike would have required 75 percent approval.

Conversely, the month-long collective bargaining conflict at Deutsche Bahn should now be over. According to dpa information, 52.3 percent were in favor of a laboriously worked out arbitration recommendation. The union had announced that it would accept this arbitration award if 25 percent approved. The Executive Board of the EVG has been meeting since around 2 p.m. A press conference is to follow at around 3:30 p.m.

The EVG and Deutsche Bahn have been in a collective bargaining dispute since the end of February, and twice during this period the union almost completely paralyzed train services with warning strikes. A third warning strike was prevented by the labor court in Frankfurt am Main. Negotiations progressed better after the court date, but ultimately collapsed in June. Both sides then agreed with two arbitrators on the present compromise.

Those are the concrete plans

This provides for a monthly fee increase of EUR 410 in two stages over a period of 25 months. The first stage of 200 euros is to be paid from December, the second from August of the coming year. In addition, all employees are to receive a tax and duty-free inflation compensation premium of 2,850 euros in October.

Structural increases in the tariff tables were also agreed for individual professional groups, which will be applied after the contract term. The incomes of a good 70,000 employees will thus increase significantly once again. After heated discussions, the EVG federal board recommended that the members accept the arbitrator's decision.

However, there were also some concerns in the EVG that not too many members would vote in favor of the arbitration recommendation in the ballot. A result above 50 percent was not considered safe. In recent weeks, many members have emphasized that they do not agree with the arbitration result. The result, with more than 50 percent approval, at least gives those responsible the certainty that the arbitration can be signed with the backing of a majority of the voters. Voter turnout was 65.3 percent.

With a view to the coming months, however, new trouble threatens: EVG's major competition, the Union of German Locomotive Drivers (GDL) with Claus Weselsky at the helm, could soon boast a possibly better collective agreement.