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German Rail Strike Negotiations Broken Offf

German Rail Strike Negotiations Broken Offf

Dec 21st, 2007, 10:58 AM
  #1  
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German Rail Strike Negotiations Broken Offf

Well, it looks like hopes for a settlement in the German Rail dispute have gone down the tubes, again.

According to an article I saw today, wage negotiations between the locomotive drivers union (GDL) and the management of Die Deutsche Bahn have collapsed.

After initial optimism, and hopes that an agreement was almost at hand, both parties pulled out of the negotiations, and all previous settlement offers are no longer on the table.

Last summer, attempts at mediation failed. This time, the GDL has refused arbitration.

The possibilities of renewed strikes after Jan 1 are very high. Schell, the GDL leader, threatens unlimited strikes that will affect all trains, passenger and freight. He further stated that the strikes would continue until the GDL got the results it wanted.

For those of you who read German, I have enclosed a clip from the news release that I read.

Im Januar wollen die in der Gewerkschaft GDL organisierten Lokfuehrer wieder streiken. Die GDL hat die Tarifverhandlungen mit
der Bahn fuer gescheitert erklaert und unbefristete Streiks ab 7.
Januar angekuendigt, und zwar im Personen- und Gueterverkehr. Der
Konzern nahm daraufhin alle Tarifangebote an die Gewerkschaft
zurueck. Zugleich forderte Bahn-Personalvorstand Suckale die GDL zu einem Schlichtungsverfahren auf. Dies lehnte die
Lokfuehrergewerkschaft aber ab. GDL-Chef Schell sagte, die Streiks
wuerden so lange dauern, bis die Gewerkschaft in Verhandlungen mit
der Bahn ein zufriedenstellendes Ergebnis erzielt habe.
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Don't panic, everyone, this was blind alarm.

The minister has interfered this afternoon, and union and management are back negotiating. They hope to get things on the way till Jan 6.
So do we.

Source: http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/bahn322.html
quokka is online now  
Dec 21st, 2007, 12:14 PM
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I can't believe this has been going on since last summer!
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 01:37 PM
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I thought my article was current, but ogbviously it was a few hours behind the times. As a result, I was premature.

I had been wondering when the German government was going to exert pressure on both sides to bring this lingering squabble to a conclusion.
(I first read articles about the wage negotiations in mid June.)

According to the Taggeschau article that is currently available, negotiations will go on during the holidays, which is most unusual in Germany where some businesses close for days.

I loved the terminology in the report: Die Einigung kam bei einem mehrstündigen Spitzengespräch mit Bahnchef Hartmut Mehdorn und dem GDL-Vorsitzenden Manfred Schell zustande. Bundesverkehrsminister Wolfgang Tiefensee hatte zu dem Treffen eingeladen.

Schell and Mehdorn agreed to the continued negotiations AFTER Transportation Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee invited !! them to a meeting.

The word eingeladen is the past participle of einladen, which means to invite or to treat someone to something, such as dinner.

Talk about a diplomatic euphamism!! My guess is that Tiefensee told Mehdorn and Schell that enough is enough and you two guys will get your posteriors back to the bargaining table before I kick both of you where you should be sitting.

At any rate, Schell said there will be no strikes on January 7 as previously announced and both parties will do everything they can to conclude an agreement by Jan 6.

I gather from the tone of the article, Tiefensee was more than fed up with this prolonged bickering contest and that some not so genteel head knocking was about to ensue.

The sentence below spoke loudly to me.
In an interview, Teifensee said he personally was committed to obtaining fruitful results.

Im Gespräch mit den Tagesthemen betonte der Verkehrsminister, er werde sich persönlich dafür einsetzen, dass die Tarifverhandlungen erfolgreich weren

We shall see. But German ministers don't like to give up their holidays to chastise two unruly miscreants.

Mehdorn is called steamroller in German, but I think he has met his superior!!
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 10:14 PM
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>>My guess is that Tiefensee told Mehdorn and Schell that enough is enough and you two guys will get your posteriors back to the bargaining table before I kick both of you where you should be sitting.

You could be right. I hope you are. I also hope that he added a few Watschn for both of them.

I'm on the train today - can't wait to meet some union activists to hand me information leaflets. That could become fun, but not for them.
quokka is online now  
Jan 9th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Hi, I am planning a trip that will involve a lot of German train travel in mid February. Can people let me know what's happening with the strikes in Germany? Thanks very much!
111op is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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As you know, I'm also planning German train travel in March (actually train travel to/from Germany).

I think the answer is that no one knows. A German friend strongly believes that no major routes are going to be allowed to be affected, but how can she know?
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Hm..... What should I do? I'm thinking of flying to Berlin.

The next morning I'm thinking of leaving very early in the morning for Baden-Baden and Karlsruhe. Then I plan to take an evening flight to London from Frankfurt.

I guess maybe my rainy day strategy is that I'll cut out everything else if there's a problem that day. All I have to do is to make it from Berlin to Frankfurt in that event.

Do people see any significant issues with this strategy?

I'm thinking of buying the 29 euros fare currently available for Berlin-Baden-Baden. But I'll just get off at Frankfurt that day and cut my losses if there are problems. Does this sound like a reasonable strategy?
111op is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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<A German friend strongly believes that no major routes are going to be allowed to be affected, but how can she know?>

Precedent
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I found this news story about the negotiations when I was googling DB this a.m.

http://tinyurl.com/369pox
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