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20-hour train strike over hikes, inflation bonus and reduced hours in Germany

It is in progress at Germany from last night at 22:00 or 20:00 warning work stop of the train drivers of German Railways (DB), which has mainly affected long-distance travel and freight transport which fell by more than 80%. The strike ends at 18:00 today, with the rail company canceling talks with the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL). “Almost nothing is moving,” a DB spokesman said, noting that only 20% of long-haul routes are running normally. For example, instead of 700 trains a day, today only 140 are running.

However, the German media reports that no chaos has been caused at the stations, as “passengers had prepared for this and many chose to work from home”. In many cases the emergency schedule was in effect, with connections every one or two hours between major cities, such as on the Hamburg – Kiel line, while additional trains have been added to the trains that are running.

There is an increased demand for travel by bus, but also for rental cars. DB has a fleet of intercity buses which can be used free of charge by those who have already purchased a rail ticket, however it encourages its customers to postpone their current journey by redeeming or changing their ticket free of charge. Normal operation is not expected to be restored, according to a company representative, before tomorrow morning.

Why are they on strike?

The strike It was announced just two days before the next round of wage negotiations between DB and GDL, with the rail operator having already made the union an offer that did not include its key demand to reduce working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours with full pay. The GDL is also demanding a salary increase of 555 euros per month for employees, in addition to a one-off payment of 3,000 euros to cover inflation.

In the initial negotiations, the two sides had agreed on a timetable for the round of collective bargaining, with negotiations initially scheduled on a weekly basis. DB has now canceled the talks.

What Deutsche Bahn said

“Either strike or negotiate. You can’t do both at the same time,” said Martin Seiler, DB’s head of human resources. “Anyone who violates these agreements in this form and calls for strikes at short notice … cannot expect us to continue to sit at the negotiating table.”

DB has set a contingency timetable and will roll out longer trains in an attempt to balance the reduced service, but still urged passengers to check electronically before traveling and to refrain from all but absolutely essential travel.

Source: News Beast

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