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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Allemagne. Nouvelle grève des cheminots

by Fabrice Savel with Reuters

Germany: Another Railroad Strike

Translated Monday 25 May 2015, by Gene Zbikowski

Deutsche Bahn broke off wage negotiations on the evening of May 16, and the German rail workers union GDL is calling another strike.

The train drivers union GDL announced on May 18 that another German rail strike would begin on May 19. The strike will initially affect freight trains on May 19 and will then be extended to passenger trains at 2 a.m. on May 20. No date has been set for the end of the strike, which will be announced 48 hours in advance, GDL adds. This will be the ninth work stoppage in the long controversy over working conditions between GDL and the Deutsche Bahn railroad company. The GDL union, which represents 20,000 train drivers, is demanding that it be allowed to negotiate in the name of other rail workers with a view to obtaining a 5% wage increase and a reduction in the work week from 39 to 37 hours.

A GDL representative stated on May 18 that the coming strike would be longer than the preceding ones and would certainly include the holiday weekend. The previous strike in May lasted seven days and was the longest in the history of the Deutsche Bahn. It caused significant disruption in a country where 5.5 million citizens use the train every day and one fifth of the freight – 620,000 tons of goods each day – is transported by rail.

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