Deutsche Bahn: Mega strike by train drivers has begun, Weselsky continues to deal against railway management

The train drivers' strike at Deutsche Bahn has begun as announced.

Deutsche Bahn: Mega strike by train drivers has begun, Weselsky continues to deal against railway management

The train drivers' strike at Deutsche Bahn has begun as announced. The emergency timetable for DB passenger traffic had started as planned, Deutsche Bahn said on Wednesday morning. There will be massive disruption to all long-distance and regional transport up to and including Monday due to the strike by the train drivers' union GDL.

Meanwhile, its boss Claus Weselsky continued to speak out against the company in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”: “What Deutsche Bahn AG is doing is nothing other than the repeated rejection of all demands,” he criticized. The train only moves millimeters. When asked when the union would negotiate again, the trade unionist said: "As soon as Deutsche Bahn comes down from its high horse."

At the start of the strike, the railway explained that with the emergency timetable the company was offering "passengers on long-distance, regional and S-Bahn transport a greatly reduced but reliable range of journeys". The railway advises long-distance travelers to reserve a seat early. In regional transport, the aim is to offer a greatly reduced offer. “The extent to which this is possible varies greatly from region to region,” explained the railway. She recommended finding out about the planned connection 24 hours before departure.

The GDL had called for the strike, which began at 2 a.m. on Wednesday night in passenger transport. The strike is scheduled to end on Monday, January 29th at 6 p.m. The railway's freight traffic has been on strike since Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The mega-strike is the fourth in the current collective bargaining round at the railway, which began at the beginning of November: in November and December, the union backed up its demands with a one-day warning strike, followed by a three-day strike in January. Weselsky defended the current strike, the fourth and longest strike in this round of collective bargaining: “It is proportionate, it is legal, and it is permissible – three elements that the courts have examined.” It cannot be avoided that a strike would affect customers in passenger and freight transport. “We have to strike longer and harder because the railway management is resistant to advice.” The GDL's core demand is a reduction in weekly working hours from 38 to 35 hours. The railway has so far offered an optional model for reducing working hours by one hour per week from 2026.

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