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Monday, December 4, 2023

GDL train drivers’ strike: They must be annoying

The GDL train drivers’ strike causes frustration. He should, because at the railway only the boss is paid generously. This strike can only make the railway more attractive.

A pigeon on a train platform at night

Gurr: Pigeon on the platform of Erfurt main station: on November 15th. The GDL began its strike at 10 p.m Photo: Jacob Schröter/imago

There are likely to be a lot of train passengers on Thursday cursed about the strike. They should be less upset about the train drivers’ union GDL and more about the management of Deutsche Bahn. Because this is not only to blame for the fact that you can hardly rely on the train. She is also responsible for the strike.

Of course the GDL is annoying to the corporate management. With around 10,000 employees, it organizes far fewer employees than that Rival union EVG. On the other hand, the GDL is far more combative and is known for striking more quickly. It was a mistake on the part of Deutsche Bahn to exclude negotiations on reducing working hours during the first round of talks. She unnecessarily offended the GDL.

The managers should actually know that improvements in working conditions are also in the interest of the company. Because only if employers make themselves attractive will they find enough staff. And this is also becoming more and more of a problem at Deutsche Bahn: they regularly have to cancel trains as a result.

This isn’t really surprising if you look closely at the working conditions of the train drivers: They have a high level of responsibility to ensure that there are no accidents on the country’s rails, they have to do shift work and also drive trains across the country on Sundays and public holidays .

But they earn below average. Train drivers go home with an average of 3,120 euros gross (excluding surcharges). That is 980 euros or a quarter less than the average salary in Germany.

It’s no wonder that the train drivers have theirs stop work and go on strike. Especially when you consider how much the top management earns. Last year, Bahn boss Richard Lutz went home with 2.24 million euros including bonuses. That was twice as much as a year before. Perhaps the GDL should base its demands on these salary increases.

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