Berlin S-Bahn “massively affected” by strike

By Stefan Ferrari

There will be a strike at Deutsche Bahn from Wednesday evening! Berliners and Brandenburgers who travel by S-Bahn, regional or long-distance transport need to know this.

Train passengers have to prepare for numerous train cancellations and delays on Wednesday and Thursday. The German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL) has called for a warning strike in rail traffic from Wednesday evening at 10 p.m. to Thursday evening at 6 p.m.

S-Bahn and regional traffic “massively affected”

Deutsche Bahn announced that it expects “massive impacts” on rail operations. The range of long-distance and regional transport must be severely restricted – and in Berlin the S-Bahn is also affected!

Participants in a warning strike by the German Locomotive Drivers Union (GDL)

Participants in a warning strike by the German Locomotive Drivers Union (GDL) Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa

The S-Bahn informed passengers of the “massive disruption” as early as Wednesday morning. At Whether traffic will stop completely

The BVG is not taking part in the strike – Berliners should therefore only get to their destination with little delay, especially within the S-Bahn ring. However, subways, buses and trams are likely to be more crowded than usual.

The further out it goes, the more commuters are likely to be affected by the train drivers’ strike.

A regional train arrives at Berlin Central Station

A regional train arrives at Berlin Central Station Photo: Christoph Soeder/dpa

And: Traffic on the roads is likely to increase because more people are driving than usual. Traffic jams and problems finding parking spaces are likely to be expected as early as Wednesday, and road users should allow more time, especially on Thursday.

What to do if you have booked a long-distance trip?

All passengers who want to postpone their journey due to the strike can do so and use their ticket at a later date, as the traffic information center reports.

An ICE at Berlin Central Station

An ICE at Berlin Central Station Photo: picture alliance / SZ Photo

The train connection has been lifted – it is therefore possible to travel earlier than planned on Wednesday and thus reach your destination before the strike!

However, travelers are advised to postpone their journey if possible. If this is not possible, there is information on the Deutsche Bahn websitein the DB Navigator or by calling travel information on 030/2970.

Why is there a strike at all?

The GDL and Deutsche Bahn have only been negotiating a new collective agreement since last Thursday. However, before the talks began, union boss Claus Weselsky had indicated in numerous interviews that his union would probably also have a labor dispute during the negotiation period. The DB representatives were all the more surprised a few days ago when Weselsky initially did not announce a strike on the first day of negotiations and instead negotiated for hours. So now the escalation shortly before the next meeting. Whether this will still exist remained unclear at first.

Claus Weselsky, Chairman of the German Locomotive Drivers Union (GDL)

Claus Weselsky, Chairman of the German Locomotive Drivers Union (GDL) Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

The union demands In the collective bargaining, among other things, 555 euros more per month for employees and an inflation compensation bonus of up to 3,000 euros. What is particularly important to Weselsky is a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 hours for shift workers with full wage compensation. He recently repeatedly emphasized the importance of this demand for the GDL.

The train considers a reduction in working hours to be unfeasible and has so far refused any negotiations about it. DB Human Resources Director Martin Seiler offered Instead, in the first round of negotiations, an eleven percent wage increase for a term of 32 months was offered. He also expressed his willingness to pay the inflation compensation premium; according to DB’s idea, the first half could be transferred as early as December. “Too little, too long and at the end of the day not enough,” was Weselsky’s comment on the offer.

“This strike is completely unnecessary”

After the good mood, everything is turned upside down again with the sudden decision to strike two days before the next planned meeting. “Now the leadership of the train drivers’ union is showing its true colors; it has never been interested in solutions. The decision to strike at this point in time is absurd,” Seiler rumbled in a statement. “This is an unreasonable expectation for rail passengers. This strike is completely unnecessary.