Inside Logistics

Deutsche Bahn seeks injunction to end drivers’ strike

Strike by train drivers that has disrupted rail traffic in the country for a third time this summer


Deutsche Bahn Cargo has the largest rail fleet in Europe.

September 2, 2021
by The Associated Press (APR) & Inside Logistics Staff

German rail company Deutsche Bahn sought an emergency injunction Thursday to stop a strike by some train drivers that has disrupted rail traffic in the country for a third time this summer.

Deutsche Bahn said it considers the latest strike by the GDL labour union to be illegal. The company noted that it has increased its offer in negotiations with the union and is now offering a one-time “coronavirus bonus” of up to 600 euros ($700) to members.

“Collective agreements are the product of negotiations,” said DB’s HR head Martin Seiler.

“They do not work if one party simply dictates the terms to the other party. If GDL really wants a solution, then it has to finally come to the negotiating table.”

Seiler said that DB had made further improvements to its offer, and that it would be possible to come to an agreement quickly. “This new strike brings us no closer to a collective agreement. GDL’s leaders are only interested in amassing more power, and passengers and businesses are paying the price.”

Seiler also warned of the damage that the GDL strike could do to DB and had a message for the union’s leaders: “Stop pitting employees against one another!”

The strike, which began with freight trains Wednesday and was extended to passenger trains Thursday, is due to last until Sept. 7.

Regarding DB’s freight services, DB Cargo says it will coordinate with customers to prioritize trains and work to deliver consignments on schedule, particularly those that are critical for supply chains.

The DB Cargo Business Unit manages Deutsche Bahn’s Europe-wide rail freight business. Its network comprises 16 subsidiaries in different countries.

DB Cargo is the only rail freight company in Europe that has a Europe-wide presence. DB Cargo employs some 30,000 people. Service at the European level accounts for nearly 60 percent of DB Cargo’s transport volumes today. With some  92,000 freight cars and about 3,000 locomotives, DB Cargo has the largest fleet on the European continent.