Saturday July 13, 2024

German railway draws up strike timetable with 'XXL' trains

Published : 12 Nov 2023, 23:25

  DF News Desk
Deutsche Bahn (DB) ICE trains: If there will be a strike, the company intends to use particularly long trains. Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa.

Germany's national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, has drawn up an emergency timetable due to the threats of strikes by the GDL train drivers' union, reported dpa.

"As with previous GDL strikes, DB has drawn up an emergency timetable with a greatly reduced number of journeys," said a Deutsche Bahn spokeswoman in Berlin on Sunday.

Long-distance service, for instance, would be less than 20% of the regular offering.

GDL boss Claus Weselsky had threatened a drivers' strike before the wage negotiations that began last Thursday. He has not ruled out industrial action over the late December Christmas period.

Last week, Deutsche Bahn proposed to the union an 11% pay increase under a collective agreement lasting for a term of 32 months.

But the company did not address the union's core demand beyond a pay hike: A reduction in working hours for shift workers from the current 38 hours per week to 35 hours per week with full pay compensation.

In the event of a strike, Deutsche Bahn says it will use the longest possible trains. This would include a 376-metre-long XXL-ICE with 918 seats. It would be used on particularly crowded connections between major German cities.

Some cross-border connections could be operated by foreign train drivers.

The use of buses will not be possible, as there are neither enough buses nor bus drivers to replace train capacity in the event of a rail strike.