Germany train drivers prepared to strike from 15 January: union

02 January 2014 15:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s train drivers are prepared to take strike action from 15 January if a labour dispute with rail carrier Deutsche Bahn is not resolved, the head of drivers union GDL told German state media on Thursday.

Strike action by GDL has disrupted German chemical and freight rail traffic in the past.

GDL head Claus Weselsky called on Deutsche Bahn to provide additional insurance protection for train drivers, and he wants the company to deploy drivers near their place of residence, rather than transferring and deploying them across the country.

A Deutsche Bahn spokesperson called the demand “completely incomprehensible” as train drivers already enjoyed “top protection”.

In a related interview with a regional newspaper Saarbrucker Zeitung, Weselsky also criticised a proposal by Germany’s new coalition government to curb the influence of relatively small but powerful unions such as GDL.

The government under Chancellor Angela Merkel aims to enshrine in law a principle, “Tarifeinheit”, which stipulates only one collective bargaining deal per plant. The principle would strengthen bigger unions while weakening smaller professional interest groups and unions – such as doctors, air traffic controllers or train drivers – in their dealings with employers.


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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