A rapprochement of the collective bargaining parties at the railways is still not in sight. However, the Deutsche Bahn board does not want to accept new warning strikes – and demands that the EVG continue the talks immediately.
Before possible warning strikes in the collective bargaining dispute at Deutsche Bahn, Group HR director Martin Seiler called on the railway and transport union (EVG) to return to the negotiating table “immediately”. “The EVG must face up to its responsibility and finally negotiate seriously,” Seiler told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. “The next hearing at the end of April is far too late.”
The EVG had rejected an initial offer from Deutsche Bahn last week. Together with the Verdi union, she wants to provide information this Thursday about the next steps in the wage dispute at Deutsche Bahn and 50 other railway companies. According to earlier media reports, there are plans to call for joint warning strikes next Monday. The two unions have not yet confirmed this. However, they have recently repeatedly emphasized the possibility of joint actions.
Verdi is currently negotiating with the federal and local governments about new collective agreements for around 2.5 million public sector employees. As part of the negotiations, the union has already paralyzed both air traffic at several airports and local public transport in some federal states with warning strikes.
The EVG demands at least 650 euros more wages from the railways. In the case of higher wages, she is aiming for an increase of twelve percent with a term of the collective agreement of twelve months. Among other things, Deutsche Bahn had offered to raise the wages of the approximately 180,000 employees affected by a total of 5 percent in two steps and promised several one-off payments. “We have neither the time nor the understanding to drag out the collective bargaining round and carry it out at the expense of our customers,” stressed Seiler.