Report by KEC correspondent
Train drivers in Germany went on a three-day nationwide strike starting from Tuesday, 10 August 2021 over their demand for wage increase and one-time coronavirus allowance.
Train drivers in Germany went on a three-day nationwide strike starting from Tuesday, 10 August 2021 over wage related demands. The German Train Drivers Union (GDL) train drivers’ union has been fighting and raising issues of better remuneration for train drivers with the rail operator company Deutsche Bahn (DB). The union decided to go on a strike after the negotiations with the DB management were unsuccessful in fulfilling their demands. GDL head said that 95% of the union’s members voted in favor of the strike. “That is more than we expected. The results show very clearly the mood among Deutsche Bahn’s personnel,” he added.
The union is demanding a wage rise of 3.2% and a one-time coronavirus allowance of 600 euros for its drivers. The DB has offered wage increases in two steps for the next two years, but the union wants the raise to take effect from this year. The company has also rejected the demand to pay coronavirus allowance to the drivers. As a result of this, a three-day nationwide strike was announced by the train driver’s union to raise their voices.
Only one in four long distance trains were operational during the strike period. Around 700 trains were at a standstill on Wednesday, 11 August, morning. This is the first strike to hit rail traffic in Germany since December 2018. Earlier, the GDL union went on nationwide strikes eight times between 2014 and 2015 over wage and working conditions related demands.
The German Train Drivers Union (GDL) has warned for strike action in the next week again if its demands are not satisfied.