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What's the latest on the German rail strike?


Jul 17th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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What's the latest on the German rail strike?

I see there was a brief action earlier this month, and the government settled with one of the unions involved - but I think the drivers are still threatening a walkout. Deutsche Welle is mum on the subject.

Anybody know a site where day-by-day updates are posted auf Englisch?
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Jul 17th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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Sorry I don't know of a site in English that keeps you up. I read German with the aide of a dictionary, so I have been following it carefully.

Right now oprations are normal because there is a key negotiating session on Thursday. The outcome of that meeting will determine what happens next. If the news reports are accurate, the battle lines are firmly drawn.

The GDL union leaders say they will strike unless their terms are met.

The term unbefristeten Streik
was used in one report I read. The word unbefristet can mean for an unlimited period, even perpetual.

Given the militant stance suggested by some of the accounts that I have seen, the term unbefristet could just about be taken as the equivalent of saying that the union is prepared to strike until hell freezes over.

Whether that is bluster and bluff or the true mind set of the union leadership remains to be seen.

Just what form the strikes could take has not yet been made public. The union leaders themselves will make that determination after Thursday's negotiating session. Until that meeting ends, and public announcements are made, I don't think anyone can say for sure what will happen.

There could be substantial progress toward a settlement or there could be a complete breakdown in the negotiations. Speculation about the negotiating session is not something I have seen in my reading.

If progress towards a settlement is not satisfactory to the union, the strikes could be warning strikes, where specific rail lines are targeted. or they could be nearly nation wide.

We will just have to see. I don't have any information about how big a war chest the GDL might have to support the strikers. The warning strikes can be distruptive enough if a major area like the Ruhr valley or Hamburg or Munich is the target and commuter trains and S-Bahn trains that bring commuters to work are the ones that do not operate.

I will update the formum as soon as I see something unless someone beats me to it.
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Jul 18th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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