Chaos in German rails expected to continueTuesday, July 3, 2007 at 23:13 | Posted in Germany, railways, traffic | 1 Comment
According to AFP, delays due to industrial action on German rails are expected to continue tomorrow. This morning could be as best described as a chaos on rails:
Commuters in cities and towns throughout the country faced delays during the morning rush hour, one day after warning strikes wrought havoc on regional and local rail lines.
Trade union GDL, representing train drivers, said Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt were hardest hit by the work stoppages, which ran from 5:00 to 9:00 am (0300 to 0700 GMT), although delays continued well into the day.
Peter writes that he was driving his son to school this morning. As they approached the school yard, it was announced that the first lesson of the morning was canceled due to the strike. Apparently, teachers in Heidelberg region heavily depend on trains.
Meanwhile in Hamburg, Andre had another sort of trouble. A lot of commuters seem to have driven to work in absence of the local S trains. Alas, Andre was unable to find a legal parking space for his car.
The rail workers are seeking to get their share of the generous profits of the rail service. Deutsche Bahn filed a profit of 1,7 billion euros last year, three times as much as the year before.
AFP accounts for what the unions are actually seeking:
The Transnet and GDBA unions are calling for wage increases of seven percent over a period of 12 months for 134,000 employees, while management has proposed a one-off payment of 300 euros and two-percent pay rises in 2008 and 2009.
Train drivers, however, did not participate in the talks and were seeking a separate wage agreement with a pay hike of up to 31 percent.
The latter demand has also been rejected by the management, describing it as “absurd”.