German train drivers to strike from Thursday

German train drivers to strike from Thursday
# 06 December 2023 22:06 (UTC +04:00)

Train drivers at Germany's national railway Deutsche Bahn will go on strike from Thursday evening until Friday evening, according to the GDL trade union, which represents the engineers, APA reports citing DW.

The 24-hour nationwide passenger carrier strike will start at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Thursday and continue until 10 p.m. on Friday and is expected to cause thousands of train cancellations.

A freight strike is set to begin at 6 p.m.

This week's strike will affect long-distance and regional trains, as well as commuter trains in the cities of Berlin and Hamburg.

The strike is the fourth to hit Deutsche Bahn this year and comes on the heels of a 20-hour GDL work disruption that forced the cancellation of nearly 80% of all long-distance and regional trains in Germany on November 15-16.

The GDL is seeking a reduction in weekly work from 38 down to 35 hours — with no reduction in pay — as well as a monthly raise of €555 ($600) for employees, and a one-time €3,000 payment to offset inflation.

Deutsche Bahn has flatly rejected any reduction in hours, citing labor shortages, and has instead offered an 11% raise to GDL drivers.

GDL Chairman Claus Weselsky previously announced that negotiations with Deutsche Bahn had collapsed on November 24. Subsequently, the union began a vote among its membership on whether to move from temporary "warning strikes" to full-scale strikes. The result of the vote is expected shortly before Christmas.