| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

German court rules longest rail strike yet can go ahead

As passengers were warned of major disruption to rail services nationwide, a German court ruled that the national rail operator’s train drivers can continue their longest strike yet.

The regional labor court of Hesse rejected Deutsche Bahn’s appeal, a day after its first legal bid was turned down by a labor court in Frankfurt.

The German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) hailed the ruling and announced that the strike will go on as planned.

“We won’t let anyone dictate to us how long our industrial action will go on,” union leader Claus Weselsky told a news conference in Frankfurt.

German train drivers began their third strike in a month on Thursday, amid an escalating row with Deutsche Bahn over pay and working conditions.

The strike in both freight and passenger transport will continue until next Tuesday, according to the union.

Deutsche Bahn has warned passengers that the strike will cause numerous cancellations and delays in long-distance, regional, and inter-city transport.

Currently, nearly 60% of regional and inter-city trains are out of operation, and over the weekend almost 75% of long-distance service will be canceled, according to the rail company.

The GDL union is demanding a 3.2% pay raise for train drivers and a one-time €600 ($713) bonus due to work during the coronavirus pandemic.