Socialist Worker

GDL drivers' union to stage fresh rail strikes in Germany

Issue No. 2071

Train drivers in Germany announced a national one-day strike to take place on Friday of this week, after negotiations with national rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) broke down.

The workers, members of the GDL union, are angry at low pay and worsening conditions.

German train drivers currently earn around 1,500 euros a month – less than drivers in France or Switzerland.

DB has proposed an increase of 4.5 percent. The workers are demanding pay rises of 30 percent – a demand that is supported by the majority of the German population.

The planned walkout follows a series of strikes in July and August of this year. Further strikes were halted after a court ruling prevented the GDL from calling national strikes. This ruling expired on 30 September.

The dispute is about more than pay. The German government is engaged in a massive privatisation programme and the strike comes as parliament debates a controversial bill to further privatise DB. It has direct political implications and could be part of a broader fight against privatisation.

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Tue 2 Oct 2007, 19:28 BST
Issue No. 2071
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