Germany has once again been hit by strike action taken by the German train drivers union, GDL. The strike, which began on Monday this week, has affected services provided by Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary DB Schenker and will continue until Sunday. Passenger services will also be affected.
The GDL is taking the action over pay and conditions. It is the eighth strike in the last 10 months and follows action taken just two weeks ago. The union has rejected Deutsche Bahn’s latest offer, which comprised a one-off payment to workers of €1,000 ($1,120) and a staggered 4.7 % pay increase.
In a statement the rail provider described the action as “absolutely inappropriate” and said it not only harmed business for it and its customers but also for the German economy. The action is estimated to cost the economy around €100m according to German industry federation, BDI.
Deutsche Bahn said it would be making every effort to minimise the impact of the strike on its customers but warned there would be strong impairments to train services. The automotive industry in Germany is heavily reliant on rail as a mode for inbound and outbound shipments.
A spokesperson for DB Schenker told Automotive Logistics that the company was in permanent communication with customers.
“We created, in close cooperation with our customers, a replacement schedule to drive supply-relevant trains for important manufacturing sectors like automotive,” said the spokesperson.?
As with the most recent strike in April the OEMs are looking at other modes to ensure both inbound and outbound shipments are made, though given the high volumes produced by German carmakers, finding adequate capacity on trucks may not be possible.
A spokesperson for VW confirmed that production was still running at sites production sites in Germany.
“We cannot exclude that the nationwide strike might affect our delivery chain,” she added. “However, we aim to keep the production up and running. Therefore, we [will] monitor the further development of the strike very closely.”
Private rail companies are unaffected by the action. A spokesperson for BLG Logistics said its own BLG AutoRail division continued to operate.