Germany Dodges More Train Strikes as Union Accepts Arbitration

Germany Dodges More Train Strikes as Union Accepts Arbitration
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A strike ballot has revealed that 52.3 percent of members from the German Railway and Transport Union (EVG) have voted in favor of a collective arbitration agreement, effectively preventing any further train strikes. In contrast, the prospect of unlimited strikes by Deutsche Bahn (DB) rail operator employees was averted as less than half of the union’s members supported the notion. For a new round of major strikes, a 75 percent approval rate is mandatory.

During a press conference, EVG Chairman Martin Burkert expressed that this collective agreement, rooted in solidarity, will lead to notable increases, particularly for individuals with smaller to medium incomes, with some instances even seeing growth of over 50 percent.

After enduring more than six months of wage disputes, the involved parties have embraced the proposal from independent arbitrators presented in July. This proposal entails a gradual monthly pay raise of 410 euros ($443) spread over 25 months, coupled with an inflation compensation bonus of 2,850 euros.

DB’s Board Member for Human Resources, Martin Seiler, acknowledged that the agreement acknowledges employees’ exceptional contributions, despite its notable economic impact.

This year, Germany’s transportation network encountered significant disruptions due to widespread strikes. The most significant of these occurred in late March, impacting millions of passengers on a single Monday. The consequences extended to major airports, bus services, railways, and freight operations, with strikes also affecting highways and waterways.