DThe head of the train drivers’ union (GDL), Claus Weselsky, has ruled out strikes at Deutsche Bahn over the Christmas period. “The GDL has never gone on strike over Christmas and will not do so this year either,” Weselsky told the “Leipziger Volkszeitung”. “The Christmas season is a peaceful one – and it will stay that way.”
Last week, from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening, large parts of long-distance, regional and freight transport were at a standstill due to a warning strike. The GDL has now called on its members to vote on indefinite strikes in the current collective bargaining dispute.
Regardless, Deutsche Bahn wants to continue negotiations. The agreed negotiation date in the new week will of course take place, said a spokesman at the weekend. “Unless the GDL itself goes on strike on the negotiation date.” The railway wants a solution at the negotiating table in the interests of the employees and passengers. The talks are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
The crux of the matter is working hours
The GDL announced on Friday that it would initiate a ballot. If three quarters of the members agree, indefinite strikes at the state-owned company and private railways would also be possible. GDL boss Claus Weselsky justified the approach with employers’ stalling tactics.
The railway criticized the announcement as “strange and completely irrational”. The negotiations have not even failed, said a spokesman. “The train drivers’ union is only looking for conflict; it is not in a position to cooperate.” In the first round of negotiations, the railway submitted an offer for an eleven percent wage increase. The GDL is now initiating the ballot without further negotiations, even though this has already been agreed. “Who else is supposed to understand that?”
GDL speaks of “solid posts” and “rivets”
The positions are far apart: the union is demanding, among other things, 555 euros more per month and an inflation compensation bonus. The crux of the negotiations, however, is the demand for a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 hours per week for shift workers with full pay. From Weselsky’s point of view, this is the only way to improve the attractiveness of these professions. At the weekend, the union boss argued that working hours would also be reduced “moderately and in steps” if a deal were concluded.
The railway rejects this demand as unfulfillable. Your offer of an 11 percent pay increase is valid for a term of 32 months. It also offers an inflation premium.
In the ongoing tariff dispute, the GDL paralyzed rail traffic for the first time with a warning strike from Wednesday to Thursday evening. No strike vote is necessary for warning strikes. There are stricter requirements regarding duration and frequency. Weselsky had repeatedly emphasized that he wanted to have a strike vote early on. According to his own statements, he primarily wants to avoid the railway going to the labor court. It is unclear when the result of the ballot will be available. The GDL is not ruling out further warning strikes until then.
Weselsky once again sharply criticized the employers. Given that many employees are reaching retirement age, he said at a civil servants’ association rally in Erfurt on Saturday that employers were surprised. There are hundreds of departures from Deutsche Bahn every month. “They knew from their date of birth when their colleagues would go into their well-deserved retirement. And now they act like this surprises us. They’re complete bullshit.”
The union boss also complained about the train’s unpunctuality, for which the employees were not responsible. “Rivets in pinstripes, with salaries worth millions, sit in the railway tower, make a fool of themselves and have no idea how to organize a railway,” criticized Weselsky.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
You can visit the original source at the link below.
Original Source Link