Union Deal

A Relief for Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn Reuters
The difficult negotiations at Deutsche Bahn have come to an end.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The new wage agreement struck between Deutsche Bahn and the train drivers union should help Germany’s train company rebuild its profits and reputation.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Train driver union GDL had staged nine strikes since September 2014.
    • The strikes  cost Deutsche Bahn around €300 million.
    • The German government had tried to limit the power of smaller unions like the GDL but this deal shows they still wield considerable clout.
  • Audio

    Audio

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After a series of highly damaging strikes and five weeks of arduous negotiations, national railway firm Deutsche Bahn and train driver union GDL reached agreement on Tuesday night on a new collective wage package.

The deal should hopefully end the numerous strikes, nine since 2014, that have wrecked the company’s reputation and cost the German economy an estimated €500 million and Deutsche Bahn itself €300 million.

The strikes affected cargo transport, hitting Germany’s key industries, such as car and machinery manufacturing. Passenger traffic suffered too as several trains were cancelled and delayed across the country.

“Thank God our customers again have planning certainty and can rely on Deutsche Bahn,” Ulrich Weber, Deutsche Bahn executive board member responsible for human resources, told reporters.

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