The series of strikes called in Germany for this Friday paralyzed rail traffic throughout the country until half a day and affected the activity of five airports, among them those of Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn.

The day of stoppages announced by the Railway and Transport Union (EVG) to put pressure on the current collective agreement negotiations began at 03.00 local time (01.00 GMT) to last until 11.00 local time (09.00 GMT).

The German railroad company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), warned that the anomalies in the service will foreseeably persist throughout the day and will complicate the plans of commuters who intended to leave for the weekend or return home, for those who work far from their family home.

The EGV had called to support the stoppages to its affiliates of the 50 companies with which it is negotiating the collective agreement, while from the DB the call was described as “absolutely unacceptable”, because of the inconvenience it will cause to passengers.

In the case of regional and commuter trains, DB plans to offer again as many connections as possible according to the usual schedule as soon as the strike ends, but the alterations will continue in the following hours, especially in the long-distance trains.

Rail freight has also been paralyzed and queues of trains are forming at marshalling yards.

According to union sources, 21,000 employees took part in the strike, for which punctual actions were planned in 1,341 locations and some 25 rallies.

EVG is demanding at least an increase of an additional 650 euros per month for all employees or 12% more money at higher wages within twelve months.

The union has rejected the attempt by the German railroad company DB to reach an agreement on the basis of the arbitration award in the public sector.

Negotiations with EVG began at the end of February and in the second round in mid-March, DB presented a first offer, consisting of a one-time payment of 2,500 euros tax-free and a linear increase, which in the first twelve months would add up to 11 %.

Today’s warning strike follows a warning strike on March 27, jointly called by EVG and the service sector union ver.di, which paralyzed rail traffic nationwide for 24 hours.

The rail workers’ protest also coincided with the second day of warning strikes by security and control personnel at the airports of Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, the latter being a regional airport.

The terminals at each of these airports appeared deserted and it is estimated that the partial strikes forced the cancellation of about half of the flights at Düsseldorf and Cologne-Bonn or caused delays throughout the day.

The warning strikes will begin on Wednesday night into Thursday and will end at midnight next night, the service sector union, Ver-di

The protest comes in the context of negotiations between Verdi and airport security employers, the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS), to increase night and holiday allowances and improve overtime pay.

Categorized in: