Train drivers strike seen hitting economy

Train drivers strike seen hitting economy
Photo: DPA
The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) says that an extended strike by train drivers could have serious consequences for the country's economy.

DIHK boss Martin Wansleben told the Berliner Zeitung on Saturday that the economy was dependent on a reliable transport system.

“Many industries depend on ‘just-in-time’ production,” said Wansleben. “It would only take a few days for strikes in rail-freight transport to cause production disruptions, because cancelled train consignments can often not be immediately re-routed via road or domestic ship.”

Wansleben was responding to a warning from the train drivers’ union GDL that they want to concentrate more strikes on freight. After a few limited strikes, the GDL is expecting its members to vote for further industrial action in a ballot to be held Monday.

The train drivers want German rail operator Deutsche Bahn to give them an industry-wide wage agreement. Deutsche Bahn currently pays its drivers substantially more than its private competitors pay.


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