German rail strike has started, international trains also hampered | Abroad

Rail staff in Germany stopped work again in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. It is already the fifth strike in the months-long collective labor agreement conflict between the German train drivers’ union GDL and state railway company Deutsche Bahn. International train traffic between the Netherlands and Germany will also be seriously disrupted in the coming days.

The strike started at 2 a.m. on Thursday and will last 35 hours until 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Drivers have also stopped working in freight rail transport; their strike started earlier on Wednesday. During previous strikes in the protracted labor dispute, train traffic between the Netherlands and Germany was also seriously disrupted.

DB has once again introduced an emergency timetable, which means that approximately one fifth of its long-distance trains will run. The consequences for regional train traffic will differ per region, DB expects. The railway company also assumes that trains in Germany will only run according to their normal timetable again on Saturday.

There will be no train traffic between the Netherlands and Germany during the period of the strike, an NS spokeswoman said earlier. For example, the ICE International and the intercity to Berlin do not run. The night trains to Austria and Switzerland will also not depart on Thursday. NS advises travelers to keep a close eye on the information and journey planner. “We remain dependent on the situation across the border,” the NS said.

In addition, an Arriva spokesperson said that the carrier is also canceling trains to and from Germany. The Arriva express train from Maastricht to Aachen will run as far as Heerlen during the strike.

GDL union members want to use the strike to demand higher wages to compensate for the increased inflation. They also want a shorter working week of 35 hours instead of 38 hours for the same wages. That is why the railway staff is stopping work for 35 hours, ‘so that everyone in the country realizes what we are talking about’, according to GDL chairman Claus Weselsky.

The last large-scale rail strike at the end of January, which lasted six days, received little support from most Germans, a poll showed at the time.