A German labor union representing over 200,000 rail workers cancelled plans for a two-day strike meant to conclude today. The
A German labor union representing over 200,000 rail workers cancelled plans for a two-day strike meant to conclude today.
The EVG union initially planned for members to walk out for 50 hours from late Sunday until late Tuesday. According to rail company Deutsche Bahn, this would have impacted all long-distance travel including other rail companies and freight traffic, causing one of the largest strikes in recent years, succeeding last month’s large-scale walkout.
The cancellation comes after employers met one of the union’s key demands: for the minimum wage of 12 euros an hour to be guaranteed through basic pay rather than with bonuses. Deutsche Bahn has now offered tax-free one-time payments as well as a raise of 10% for low- and medium-wage groups, and an 8% increase for workers on higher wages, though these will be phased in over time.
Future strikes remain possible in the coming months. The German government would likely intervene as it previously did to reach a pay deal with public-sector workers last month. The cost-of-living crisis continues throughout Europe. Energy prices are expected to increase this year, which poses a problem for railway companies that sign contracts for electricity and are seeing high prices; these increased costs could lead to financial difficulties for operators.