Germany New two day rail strike

Germany: New two-day rail strike

The railway workers in Germany were again called to strike from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening in order to influence collective bargaining in view of the high inflation, the railway workers’ union EVG announced on Thursday.

This is the third strike by railway workers in the country since late March.

The movement is set to begin at 10 p.m. local time (8 p.m. GMT) on Sunday evening and end overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, EVG union officials said, lamenting “the lack of significant progress” in talks with employers during a news conference.

Previously, 24-hour work stoppages at the end of March and April paralyzed rail transport in Europe’s largest economy and massively affected the national operator Deutsche Bahn (DB).

“The patience of the employees is now really at the end,” said Cosima Ingenschay, collective bargaining director of the EVG.

“We are forced to strike for 50 hours to show how serious the situation is,” she continued.

The union represents the interests of around 230,000 employees of around fifty railway companies in the country, above all Deutsche Bahn.

The EVG calls for an increase of 12% for these employees over twelve months or a minimum increase of EUR 650 gross per month and considers the employer’s proposals to be insufficient.

Although inflation in Germany slowed to 7.2% in April, far from its peak of 8.8% last October, it remains very high.

This call for a halt to work is part of a strong social mobilization in Germany, where wage strikes have multiplied since the start of the year, from schools to hospitals and the post office.

In the public sector, after tense discussions punctuated by work stoppages, state and local government employees secured a gradual increase in their pay to offset inflation in late April, including a 5.5% salary increase from March 2024. A €3,000 anti-inflation bonus.