German rail operator promises no strikes until at least 2023

Passengers wait for a train at Leipzig main station.
Passengers wait for a train at Leipzig main station. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau
Train passengers in Germany can breathe a sigh of relief - there will apparently be no more strikes for around 18 months.

Deutsche Bahn has struck a deal with the Railway and Transport Union (EVG) which would see no strikes until at least 2023, reported German media including Zeit Online. 

For customers, this means that “rail strikes are ruled out at least until February 2023”, said Martin Seiler, Deutsche Bahn’s personnel director.

“All parties involved – first and foremost our customers – can now plan safely again.”

It comes three weeks after an agreement was struck with the train drivers’ union (GDL).

The move signals that this round of collective bargaining is over. The EVG union said peace had been restored in the industry.

READ ALSO: German train drivers reach deal to end strikes

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

As well as the collective agreement, the union and the employer agreed on Covid pandemic allowances.

Workers are to receive €600 this year and another €500 next year. Furthermore, “additional funds” have been provided for the mobility of the employees.

The Covid allowances amount to €100 more than the GDL agreement. However, in the EVG collective agreement, the next increase in wages will come one month later. They will rise by 1.5 per cent on January 1st. According to the EVG, there will also be improvements in bonuses.

READ ALSO: How to find cheap train tickets in Germany

Unions compete against each other

The collective agreement applies in all rail companies where the EVG organises the majority of the employees. For other companies, it still has to be determined which union is strongest – the EVG for the GDL train drivers union. According to the EVG, the two agreements struck by both unions are very similar. 

EVG and GDL compete for members and influence in the railway sector. The EVG agreed on a collective agreement last September. However, because the GDL was able to reach a new collective agreement after three strikes this summer, they renegotiated.

EVG negotiator Kristian Loroch told Deutsche Bahn the union was looking ahead to getting a good deal for its members in 2023. “We are already preparing for a tough dispute from March 1st 2023,” he said.

The GDL agreed on a 1.8 per cent pay rise for March 1st, 2023. Their contract runs until October 2023.


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.