• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
German train drivers to strike for 98 hours
Photo: DPA

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
Brexit vote
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
A sign in Berlin's tech giant and startup-building company Rocket Internet. Photo: DPA.

London is currently thought of as the main hub for startups in Europe, but that will all turn around when the UK leaves the EU, tech industry experts say.

Brexit vote - Analysis
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
British Leave campaigners celebrate Brexit result. Photo: DPA

Britain leaving the EU means trouble ahead for Germany - and its hardest task will be convincing the Brits to drop a self-defeating ideology, a leading foreign policy expert told The Local.

How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Photo: DPA.

Considering a change of passport after the UK's vote to ditch the EU? Here’s how to do it.

Germany makes fracking verboten
A sign in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.

German lawmakers approved a law that essentially bans fracking, ending years of dispute over the controversial technology to release oil and gas locked deep underground.

Brexit vote
German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
Left to right: AfD's Beatrix von Storch and Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Brexit has cut into European unity
Angela Merkel at a press conference after the Brexit vote on Friday. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created a "cut in Europe" and the project of European unity.

Couple copulating on bridge shut down Autobahn
Kaiserlei Bridge in Frankfurt. Photo: Dontworry / Wikimedia Commons.

It was a highly unusual choice of location for a romantic rendezvous, police in Frankfurt point out.

Brexit vote
Germany: Brexit vote is a 'sad day for Europe'
A British flag along with other flags of European Union member countries flies in front of the European Council building in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA.

Top German leaders declared that it was a "sad day for Europe" after British voters opted to leave the European Union.

Viernheim hostage-taker wasn't carrying lethal weapon
A police officer stands guard in front of the cinema in Viernheim. Photo: DPA

The 19-year-old German man who took over a dozen people hostage in a cinema in western Germany on Thursday was carrying replica weapons, prosecutors have confirmed.

Brexit vote
German stock market sees biggest drop since 2008 crash
Photo: DPA

News that British voters had opted to leave the EU led to panic in Germany's largest stock index.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Gallery
7 photos which show the aftermath of Bavaria's Autobahn bridge collapse
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
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
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
7,895
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd