Empty platforms at Berlin station

Germany braces for second nationwide rail strike, DB furious at union

An empty platform in Berlin during last month's strike. Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben

Deutsche Bahn (DB) for the second month in a row has issued a warning, saying that there will be massive disruptions of rail traffic following the announcement of a new strike planned for Friday 21 April. The walkout will be staged by the union EVG on behalf of DB staff and other rail companies, representing 230.000 employees. The union did the same in March. The operator has slammed the planned strike action.

DB on Wednesday warned that all rail operations in Germany be affected, ranging from the high-speed, long-distance ICE trains to intercity trains and S-Bahn commuter services. The EVG has called a warning strike in the morning, so some train traffic is expected to resume around 13.00 on Friday, such as long-distance trains. However, DB warns that ICE and Intercity services will experience hiccups throughout the day and well into the evening.

DB has slammed the action by EVG, saying that to call for a walkout in the middle of negotiations is “incomprehensible” and presents an “escalation” of the wage conflict. DB is accusing the EVG of trying to outshine the train drivers union GDL in calling for a strike. The German rail operator also says that an offer is on the table that not only matches what other public servants in the country are getting but is also tailored to the railway sector.

“Why shouldn’t what is good for the 2.5 million public sector workers also be good for 180,000 railway workers? The EVG must now finally face up to its responsibility for its employees. A solution is not only possible, but also on the table.” The next round of negotiations are planned for Tuesday 25 April.

Last month’s strike on 27 March resulted in one of the biggest rail disruptions in recent German history.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Former Chief Editor of RailTech.com

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