May 22, 2024

Customs duties dispute in Germany – Deutsche Bahn waives 35 hours per week – News

  • After months of disputes over wages at Deutsche Bahn, the company has come a long way to meeting its GDL train drivers' union's basic demand for 35 hours a week.
  • Weekly working hours for shift workers will be reduced from the current 38 hours to 35 hours with the same pay, as announced by Deutsche Bahn.
  • However, in several stages until 2029 – and not all steps are automatic.

“The key element is an innovative choice model through which shift employees can decide for themselves their weekly working hours in the future,” the railway said. Therefore, the first reduction from one hour to 37 hours per week will take place automatically from 2026. If employees do not announce in advance that they want to stay for 38 hours or even work longer. If you stay for 38 hours, you will receive an additional 2.7 percent pay.

At the beginning of 2027, there will be an optional reduction to 36 hours, from 2028 to 35.5 hours and from 2029 to 35 hours. In the last three stages, employees must inform their employer themselves if they want to benefit from the reduction steps. However, you can also choose to work the same or more hours – it is possible to work up to 40 hours per week in this option model.


In recent months, trains in Germany have been forced to stop running repeatedly due to strikes.

Keystone/Anna Szilagyi

“One thing is clear: If you work more, you'll get more money,” Railroad says. For each overtime or fixed hour worked, employees receive an additional 2.7 percent pay.

In the collective bargaining dispute, the GDL always insisted on 35 hours with full pay compensation and initially agreed only to a gradual reduction in three stages until 2028. Compromise in this corridor solution now requires a longer period of time and no automatic reduction.

According to Deutsche Bahn, other outcomes include a wage increase of €420 per month in two steps, and a tax- and fee-free inflation compensation bonus of €2,850 and a duration of 26 months. Furthermore, the scope of collective agreements will not be extended to include employees in infrastructure, as requested by the GDL.

Arbitration was agreed to by German aviation security personnel

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The risk of strikes at German airports is decreasing. In a collective bargaining dispute for about 25,000 employees of private aviation security providers, the Verdi union and their employers have agreed to arbitration. This will begin under the leadership of former Bremen Finance Senator Hans-Henning Lohr (SPD) from Friday, April 5 and will be completed by Sunday, April 7 at the latest, the union and employers' association BDLS announced. (op)

A long battle for four months

For Deutsche Bahn passengers, the tariff settlement will restore some reliability to the rails. The two sides struggled for more than four months to reach an agreement. A total of six times, labor disputes by GDL resulted in significant restrictions on railroad customers. Recently, union president Klaus Weselski announced strikes in a much shorter time than before. The rapprochement between the two sides was not expected for a long time.

Hope was already there in February, when the two sides negotiated for weeks behind closed doors and with the help of outside mediators. But the talks ultimately failed at the beginning of March. The blows continued again.

Just over a week ago, Bahn and GDL surprisingly announced that they were negotiating with each other again. They expressed their confidence in the possibility of reaching a solution this time.

In addition to the issue of reducing working hours, the term future collective agreement was also controversial. In addition, GDL originally demanded an additional €555 per month plus a tax- and fee-free inflation compensation bonus of €3,000.

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