Germany braces for 6-day rail strike amid wage negotiations

Berlin, Jan 23 (IANS) Despite an improved wage offer, train drivers in Germany announced another strike action on Monday. It will be the longest strike in recent months, lasting six days from Wednesday.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn expects “massive disruptions” during this strike as the planned emergency service “only ensures a very limited train service”.

In order to bring train drivers back to the negotiating table, Deutsche Bahn further improved its wage offer on Friday. This includes two pay rises this year and next year of 4.8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, as well as one hour less work per week from 2026, Xinhua news agency reported.

The German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL) continued to refuse negotiations, calling the presented deal “another sham offer”. They are demanding an increase of 555 euros ($605) per month and a faster and stronger reduction in working hours by three hours to just 35.

Germany’s Minister of Transport Volker Wissing reacted with harsh criticism to the strike announcement.

“I have zero understanding for this form of wage dispute,” he told public broadcaster ZDF.

“This wage dispute is taking on destructive traits.”

In addition to strikes, ongoing construction work is also affecting rail traffic in Germany. The country has begun to extensively renovate its dilapidated rail network, with key long-distance routes being completely closed for months. (1 euro = $1.09)



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