• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German train drivers to strike for 98 hours

The Local · 4 Nov 2014, 16:14

Published: 04 Nov 2014 15:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2014 16:14 GMT+01:00

The GDL said their third nationwide strike in recent weeks would be the biggest yet, lasting four days for passenger services.

Drivers on freight trains will walkout from Wednesday at 3pm. Passenger services will stop at 2am on Thursday.

The strike, brought about in a dispute with rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) over pay, hours, and representation, will last until Monday at 4am.

It means the strike will last for 98 hours on passenger trains, but the repercussions will be felt for hours after and before the industrial action.

DB accused GDL leader Claus Weselsky of putting his own "delusions of omnipotence" and "thirst for power" ahead of the interests of train drivers and passengers.

Talks between train drivers' union GDL and DB broke down over the weekend, with the rail operator accusing GDL of walking away when they were close to a deal.

"We want to and must act in the interests of our members. Our fundamental right [of representation] is in danger, and with it the purpose of trade unions," Weselsky said, referring to GDL's struggle to take over representation of more train staff from larger transport union EVG.

"We have received a wage decree and are now supposed to conduct hollow negotiations for train personnel and become a paper tiger. That is exactly what the employers want."

SEE ALSO: Ten best ways to get around without trains

The previous rail strike in October lasted for one weekend, stranding tens of thousands of passengers, and led to sharp criticism of Weselsky.

This weekend's strike will be even bigger. It is the largest since Deutsche Bahn was formed in 1994. 

Regional, intercity and urban S-Bahn services will all be cancelled. 

"This is a selfish decision of a few at the expense of a great many," Visit Berlin manager Burkhard Kieker said, noting that it would hit visitors to the capital on the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling.

"We invite all the train drivers to Berlin for the anniversary, since they'll have time this weekend.

"We don't believe that this strike will keep people away from Berlin on this wonderful weekend.

"I'm sure it will be a good stimulus for long-distance bus services."

The Local's followers were unanimous in their reaction on Twitter:

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ansbach suicide attack
Isis says Syrian bomber in Bavaria one of its 'soldiers'
Photo: DPA

The Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany was a "soldier" of the Isis, the jihadist-linked Amaq news agency said on Monday.

Merkel's refugee policy was 'reckless': Left Party leader
Photo: DPA

The attacks carried out by refugees over the past week show accepting large numbers of refugees brings "significant problems", the party's chairwoman said on Monday.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach suicide bomber confirms Isis loyalty in video
Police remove evidence from the bombers residence. Photo: DPA

The man who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria, on Sunday evening, injuring 15 people, recorded a video in which he pledged his allegiance to terror group Isis.

Top 10 German firms with the highest-paid employees
Photo: DPA

Want to know which companies shell out the most for salaries?

How will Germany change after string of bloody attacks?
A policeman in Ansbach on Sunday evening. Photo: DPA

Within seven days Germany has been hit by four bloody attacks on innocent people on its streets and in a train. What does this unprecedented string of murders mean for the country?

After attacks, minister rejects blanket suspicion of refugees
Thomas de Maiziere. Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday cautioned Germans against indiscriminately branding all refugees a security threat after a rash of attacks over the last week.

What we know about the Reutlingen knife attack
Police arrest the attacker. Photo: DPA

... and what we don't.

Munich shooting
Police arrest possible accomplice of Munich gunman
Mourners in Munich. Photo: DPA

Authorities in Munich believe that a friend of the teenager who murdered nine people at a Munich shopping centre may have known about his plans.

Ansbach suicide attack
Suicide bomber attacks bar in Bavaria
Photo: DPA

A Syrian migrant set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others late Sunday, authorities said, the third attack to hit Bavaria in a week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,700
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd