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News > World

Germany: Strike to Affect 80 Percent of Long-Distance Trains

  • A train station in Germany, 2023.

    A train station in Germany, 2023. | Photo: X/ @imminent_news

Published 7 December 2023

Workers demand a reduction in working hours and a salary increase of 555 euros per month.

On Thursday, the railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced that the 24-hour strike called by the Society of German Locomotive Drivers (GDL) will force the cancellation of 80 percent of long-distance trains.


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"We plan to maintain approximately 20 percent of services," stated DB spokesperson Achim Stauss said, adding that an exception will be the Munich region, where challenges due to inclement weather and heavy snowfall will make it impossible to achieve this goal, leading to a complete traffic interruption.

DB advised passengers to either advance or delay their travels to avoid coinciding with the strike, and the validity of tickets will be extended.

Stauss criticized GDL for calling the strike on very short notice in a manner that he deemed "unnecessary and irresponsible" for the millions of passengers whose plans for the second Advent weekend have been disrupted.

The strike will commence on Thursday at 6:00 PM local time for freight transportation and at 10:00 PM local time for passenger transportation. It will conclude at 10:00 PM on Friday.

The train drivers' union called the strike to exert pressure in the negotiation of their collective agreement with DB and one of its competitors, Transdev, the largest private transport group in Germany.

Currently, there is an ongoing voting process among GDL members to decide if they are willing to call for an indefinite strike. The results will be announced on December 19.

GDL President Claus Weselsky promised that today's strike will be the last of this year, indicating that there will be no more stoppages until January 7. This rules out the feared possibility by DB of strikes during the Christmas holidays.

GDL is demanding a reduction in working hours and a salary increase of at least 555 euros per month, plus a one-time payment to compensate for inflation. DB is willing to offer this last point, along with an 11 percent salary increase.

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