Questions & Answers: Warning strike averted: What travelers need to know now

Questions & Answers: Warning strike averted: What travelers need to know now

Good news for train passengers: the 50-hour warning strike has been cancelled. Nevertheless, not every train will run. Questions and answers on the ongoing collective bargaining conflict and its consequences.

The signs were already pointing to a warning strike and standstill on the rails, and many travel plans have already been rescheduled or completely abandoned. But then on Saturday came the big surprise: the labor dispute was averted with a settlement before the labor court in Frankfurt am Main.

The collective bargaining conflict with the railway and transport union (EVG) has not yet been resolved, and further warning strikes are also possible – but not on Monday and Tuesday. An overview of the most pressing questions:

Is the train service running according to the timetable?

No, it won’t happen that quickly. “In long-distance traffic, DB wants to start up rail traffic again quickly at the start of the week. There may be individual train cancellations on Sunday evening,” said the group. Around two thirds of the planned long-distance trains would run on Monday, and then all of them again on Tuesday. “There will also be regional restrictions and train cancellations in DB’s regional transport,” it said.

For journeys between Sunday and Tuesday, the train connection will be canceled to allow flexible use of the tickets during this period. Alternatively, tickets for these travel days could be refunded free of charge.

The EVG has only canceled the warning strike at Deutsche Bahn. Some other railway companies are said to continue to be on strike for 50 hours. In Bavaria, for example, the Bayerische Oberlandbahn (BOB), the Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) and the Meridian are affected, as the EVG announced. The EVG is currently negotiating new collective agreements with dozens of railway companies, many of these talks are just as sluggish as those with DB.

Has the risk of strikes been banned in principle?

Provisionally yes, but not in principle. The collective bargaining conflict between the EVG and the railway companies has not been resolved with Saturday’s decision. EVG has agreed with Deutsche Bahn to continue negotiations quickly. If these talks do not lead to results, the union wants to call for warning strikes again.

Is there a trial date yet?

The negotiators from EVG and DB want to meet again in Fulda from May 23rd. Nothing was initially known about possible earlier meetings at the weekend.

How did the Frankfurt Labor Court reach the settlement?

In the past few days, the EVG has always emphasized that it will refrain from warning strikes if Deutsche Bahn meets the union’s demand for a minimum wage. According to the DB, she has done so in letters to and discussions with the union in the past few days. However, the EVG criticized loopholes that the employer had left – and announced the 50-hour warning strike from Sunday evening.

According to dpa information, labor judge Lara Sherman also considered the EVG requirements to be met. In any case, Deutsche Bahn did not have to make any further concessions in order to reach the settlement.

What exactly is this minimum wage debate all about?

Around 2,000 employees at DB currently only receive the statutory minimum wage of 12 euros through allowances. The EVG has made it a prerequisite for all further negotiations that this minimum wage is first included in the tariff tables. She wants to ensure that these 12 euros per hour form the basis for all further negotiation results.

Initially, Deutsche Bahn did not want to meet any preconditions before the actual negotiations. In the meantime, however, she has agreed to include the minimum wage in the tariff tables in advance. Most recently, there was still a dispute as to whether future negotiation results should also be written one-to-one for the lowest wage groups in the tables or paid out differently, for example in the form of bonuses. At this point, Deutsche Bahn argues that the usual industry wages, for example for security and cleaning staff, would be far exceeded.

According to dpa information, the railways did not have to make any concessions in court at this point. However, it was emphasized and stated that future negotiation results will also apply in full to employees in the area close to the minimum wage – the exact structure is to be negotiated.

On which points do Bahn and EVG still disagree?

Actually in all. The focus is particularly on the amount of the wage plus, the time of the wage increase and the term of the collective agreement. The EVG demands an increase in wages of 650 euros per month for the employees, with the upper income earners an increase of 12 percent, all this over a period of 12 months. The railway recently announced tax and duty-free one-off payments totaling 2,850 euros, as well as incremental increases of 10 percent for the lower and middle income groups and 8 percent for the upper income groups. The term should be 27 months.

The first wage increase in the tariff tables is planned for March 2024 in the DB offer – it’s too late for the union. She also insists on fixed amounts instead of percentage increases.

Source: Stern

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