The railway union EVG calls for a strike – and long-distance traffic comes to a standstill. For the chairman of the locomotive driver’s union GDL, proof that both parties are working together.
The chairman of the Union of German Locomotive Drivers (GDL) has criticized Deutsche Bahn for stopping all long-distance traffic on Monday due to the large warning strike. “The railway simply stipulates that there are no more trains in this country – although a whole series of trains could very well run,” said Claus Weselsky to the “Spiegel”.
He spoke of a “smear show” by the railway and transport union (EVG) and the DB. “Deutsche Bahn has ordered rail traffic to be stopped. Deutsche Bahn would never have done that in the event of a GDL strike, but threatened us with an injunction,” said Weselsky. “With us, at least 20 percent of the trains are always running.”
The EVG is currently negotiating a new collective agreement for 180,000 employees at Deutsche Bahn (DB). The negotiations between the GDL and the DB are scheduled for autumn, but the GDL represents significantly fewer DB employees than the EVG. Recently, the GDL has tried again and again in negotiations to increase its influence within the railway. The EVG, together with the Verdi services union, had called for warning strikes in traffic on Monday, paralyzing rail traffic in particular. Even at some airports nothing worked.
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“The railway uses the EVG to maintain its insane structure of a globally active global player. And the EVG needs the labor dispute because otherwise it would be meaningless,” Weselsky told the “Spiegel”. The fact that the strike was already recorded in the timetables in the DB app last week is proof enough that the railways and EVG are working together. He did not comment on the demand of the EVG for at least 650 euros more wages for the employees.
In a reaction, the railway emphasized that the EVG was negotiating for 180,000 employees, while the collective agreements between the railways and GDL were only applied to around 10,000 employees. “Strikes have a completely different leverage effect. Here we have to act in the interests of our customers and restrict rail traffic in large parts,” said a spokesman. “It’s no use driving a short distance with an ICE and then the occupied train is stranded somewhere because a signal box is on strike.” In the GDL, above all the train drivers are organized, in the EVG significantly more employees from different work areas.
Weselsky accused the management of Deutsche Bahn of squandering billions with investments abroad – “they have turned the railway into a restructuring case and they want the employees to tighten their belts now”. (dpa)