High-speed train passing through a German city, Source: Unsplash

End of strikes? Deutsche Bahn and trade union finally reach a deal

End of strikes? Deutsche Bahn and trade union finally reach a deal

For the next two years at least, the German railway mobility sector could return to normalcy

Following a series of rolling strikes that had severely disrupted railway travel in Germany in the past several months, news came out yesterday that Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the GDL trade union have finally concluded a lasting deal.

The overall deal includes several interesting details, which are of interest both to the railway company employees and its passengers.

For travellers, the promising part is the so-called ‘peace obligation’ clause, which prevents the possibility of new strikes until February 2026.

Both negotiating sides had to concede some ground

However, it was the train drivers that were interested in finding out whether, and how much of, their demands had been met.

You might recall that GDL was asking for a salary raise of 555 euros per month, plus a one-off payment of 3,000 euros to counter inflation. In addition, the workers wanted a reduction in the workweek hours.

In the end, the drivers got an increase of 420 euros. The wage raise will be implemented in two steps: 210 euros more per month from 1 August 2024 and another 210 euros from 1 April 2025. The inflation compensation bonus will also be paid in two parts for a total of 2,850 euros.

Regarding the working hours, DB agreed to reduce them to 35 per week. This, however, will not be implemented right away but in stages with a deadline of 2029. Hours will drop to 37 per week in 2026, 36 hours in 2027 and 35.5 in 2028.

According to Euronews, DB’s HR director Martin Seiler called it a “groundbreaking solution that enables flexibility, participation and transformation”.

The latest round of negotiations had been going on since mid-March.



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