• Germany's news in English

Private train drivers strike in the northeast

The Local · 28 Mar 2011, 09:15

Published: 28 Mar 2011 08:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2011 09:15 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While negotiations with national rail provider Deutsche Bahn were said to be making progress over the weekend, the union has been unhappy with efforts by private rail companies.

“We want equal pay for equal work,” said GDL leader for Berlin, Saxony and Brandenburg, Frank Nachtigall.

Train drivers walked off their jobs at 2:30 am in the northeastern German states.

The action is expected to last 24 hours and will affect providers Abellio, Arriva, Benex, Keolis, Veolia and Hessische Landesbahn, along with their smaller subsidiaries.

Together these companies cover 15 to 20 percent of Germany's passenger service.

Passengers on AKN, Metronom and the Nord-Ostsee-Bahn in particular should expect delays and cancellations throughout the day.

“Due to the strikes the schedule had to be significantly thinned out,” an AKN spokesperson said. “Thousands of commuters, including employees, school pupils and university students are affected.”

Some companies were helping passengers reach their destinations with additional bus service, they said.

Meanwhile the GDL has resumed talks with Deutsche Bahn, with no strikes planned at the national level.

Some progress was reportedly made Saturday in the ongoing dispute, with both sides agreeing to continue talks on April 7 and 8.

The GDL is demanding a nationwide wage agreement to cover all Germany's train drivers, so private companies will be forced to raise wages to match those paid by Deutsche Bahn. The union also wants a five percent wage increase and better redundancy protection guarantees.

Story continues below…

"We have a firm agreement that the nationwide train drivers contract will be linked to the Deutsche Bahn's in-house contract," GDL boss Claus Weselsky said after Saturday’s talks.

But he added that there was still the outstanding issue of working hours. Deutsche Bahn has agreed to make a compromise offer soon.

There are 26,000 train drivers in Germany, 6,000 of whom work for private companies. Strikes in recent weeks have disabled Germany's rail networks and freight delivery services for several hours at a time.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:37 March 28, 2011 by t-meister
these strikes have been going on for years!!! you think that public demand would fix the situation, but it never does. a new strategy needs to be developed other than just calling strikes and taking it out on German commuters.
02:37 March 29, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
I wonder what if they just made all the trains automated, so only a skeletal crew would be required to run them. The nice thing about machines is that they don't go on strike...
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd