Railway initiates arbitration with the train drivers’ union

The train drivers’ union refuses to negotiate a restructuring collective agreement. That is why Deutsche Bahn sees arbitration as the only way out of the wage dispute. The GDL referred to current contracts until February 2021.

In the week-long tariff dispute between the railways and GDL, many trains stood still in 2015.

IIn the dispute with the Union of German Locomotive Drivers (GDL) about a collective agreement to cope with the Corona crisis, Deutsche Bahn (DB) has initiated the arbitration. In view of the “greatest crisis in the company’s history”, Deutsche Bahn must “also conclude a tariff package with the GDL and find an economically responsible, sustainable and socially balanced solution,” explained DB Human Resources Director Martin Seiler on Wednesday in Berlin.

After the union’s refusal to negotiate a restructuring collective agreement, there was “no alternative” to arbitration, the group announced. A timely agreement is “urgently required”. The GDL rejected collective bargaining at the beginning of September and referred to current contracts until February 2021. “We will do everything we can to ensure that our colleagues do not have to pay for the wrong structure of the DB Group and the mismanagement of the board,” declared the union chairman Claus Weselsky.

With the Railway and Transport Union (EVG), on the other hand, after weeks of negotiations, Deutsche Bahn agreed on a Corona tariff package in September: This includes, among other things, protection against dismissal for employees until the beginning of 2023, but only a moderate wage increase of 1.5 percent Turn of the year. The collective bargaining had been brought forward to mid-August. Bahn and EVG had already agreed in May that despite the pandemic, no jobs should be cut.

The EVG last called for warning strikes in 2018. The last major wage dispute with the GDL was five years ago. The train drivers’ union GDL did not respond to a corresponding call for an alliance this summer. In view of the structural problems that already existed before the Corona crisis, the railway did not justify, from the union’s point of view, “why the train staff should tighten their belts”.