The collective bargaining negotiations between GDL and Deutsche Bahn are not making any progress. While DB wants to negotiate on Monday, GDL is calling for a strike.

The train drivers' union GDL is calling for another strike. The GDL announced that the strike would take place from Tuesday 2 a.m. to Wednesday 2 a.m. In freight transport, the work stoppages are scheduled to begin on Monday evening at 6 p.m. and also last 24 hours.

This means there are just over 24 hours between the announcement of the industrial action and its start. Union boss Claus Weselsky had already announced before the previous strike that the railway and passengers would be given significantly less notice in the future in order to prepare for the industrial action.

“Weselsky goes overboard”

There is increasing discontent about the disputes in business and politics. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) criticized on Sunday evening that striking instead of negotiating was irresponsible. “The GDL has to talk and explore compromises. Things cannot continue like this.” A formal arbitration procedure must urgently be initiated. “Mr. Weselsky continues to overreach.”

Deutsche Bahn also sharply criticized the short-term announcement. The GDL is making good on its threat to no longer announce strikes 48 hours in advance, the company announced on Sunday evening in Berlin. “This is a sheer imposition for millions of rail passengers and the economy.” The strike will once again have a massive impact on all German rail operations.

Despite the short lead time, the DB is trying to offer a basic service again for long-distance, regional and S-Bahn traffic, it said. Longer trains with more seats should therefore be used in long-distance transport. Due to the limited offering, DB advises reserving a seat early when traveling on long-distance trains. In regional and S-Bahn transport, the goal is also to provide a basic service. The extent to which this is possible varies greatly from region to region. There will definitely be massive restrictions in regional transport.

DB wanted to negotiate on Monday

The railway had previously allowed a deadline set by the German Train Drivers' Union (GDL) of Sunday evening, 6 p.m., to submit a new written offer to pass. This would “inevitably lead to industrial action,” GDL boss Claus Weselsky said, assigning responsibility to the railway for what is now the sixth strike in this round of collective bargaining.

Offers and solutions could be submitted and discussed directly at the negotiating table, the railway announced on Sunday afternoon. “We are convinced that we will only be able to reach an agreement through dialogue at the negotiating table,” said DB Human Resources Director Martin Seiler, according to the statement. Switching to a written exchange of offers and answers at this very advanced stage of the negotiations would not be productive. Alternatively, DB is also prepared to enter into formal arbitration.

The GDL has already gone on strike five times in the current collective bargaining round; the fifth strike lasting 35 hours only ended on Friday afternoon. A round of negotiations had failed last week. In this, two moderators – Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther and the former Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (both CDU) – presented both sides with a proposal on the basis of which further negotiations could take place.

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