German train drivers to hold three-day strike

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
German train drivers to hold three-day strike
Deutsche Bahn ICE trains in Hamburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

German train drivers will start a nationwide three-day strike from Wednesday after wage talks broke down, the GDL union said Sunday evening.


The union, which called several strikes in 2023, said the Deutsche Bahn public train company had failed to come up with a "negotiable" offer to head off industrial action.

Drivers will walk off the job from 2 am Wednesday while for freight the stoppage will begin from 6pm on Tuesday, the union said.

Drivers will return to work from 5pm on Friday after what will be the longest stoppage the union has called to date. November and December also saw drivers walk off the job. The strike also affects the S-Bahn system, which in most cases is operated by Deutsche Bahn.

"This strike is not only absolutely unnecessary, but we also believe it is not legally authorised," said Deutsche Bahn director of human resources Martin Seiler.

READ ALSO: The strikes which could hit life in Germany in 2024

Seiler announced an injunction to try to prevent a stoppage which the operator says will seriously disrupt operations.

Disruptions to freight transport come at a high cost to a German economy which is already struggling.


In addition to salary increases designed to compensate for high inflation, GDL, which represents around 10,000 employees, is also demanding talks on a move to a 35-hour week spread over four days for drivers.

Deutsche Bahn said last month it had made an offer of an 11 percent wage increase going into talks, as well as a "bonus to compensate for inflation" of up to 2,850.

The operator said Sunday it had come back with an improved offer last week which it said represented a "major step forward" regarding union demands on working hours.

Deutsche Bahn last year also clashed with the EVG rail union, which represents some 180,000 non-driver rail personnel, reaching an agreement in late August.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also