By Nina Kienle
Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, is bracing itself for yet another round of strikes by locomotive drivers. This comes after workers’ representatives rejected a third offer aimed at resolving a wage dispute.
The GDL union has announced an almost weeklong strike, scheduled to begin early Wednesday (a few hours earlier for freight services) and expected to conclude the following Monday evening. Deutsche Bahn has issued a warning about the significant disruptions that these strikes are likely to cause.
In its third offer on Friday, the railway company proposed a total wage increase of up to 13%, along with the opportunity for train drivers and crew to reduce their weekly working hours by one hour to 37 hours, while still maintaining the same salary as of Jan. 1, 2026. As an alternative, Deutsche Bahn suggested an additional 2.7% wage increase.
The GDL union’s initial demands included a pay increase of 555 euros ($605) a month and a 12-month inflation benefit of EUR3,000 in November of last year.
Following shorter strikes in November and December, the GDL union had previously called for three-day walkouts on Jan. 10. When combined, all the strikes amount to a total of 120 hours, causing significant disruptions to long-distance and regional transport throughout Germany.