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German rail workers call off a 50-hour strike

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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The workers of Deutsche Bahn have called off a 50-hour strike after reaching an agreement with the rail operator, Deutsche Bahn. Germany has narrowly avoided another major transport strike.

The 50-hour walkout planned for Sunday through Tuesday was suspended after German transport union EVG reached an agreement with rail operator Deutsche Bahn. In late March and April, flights, trains and buses were cancelled when a ‘megastrike’ saw transport workers walk out over pay.

This week’s strike was originally planned to start at 10 pm on Sunday 14 May and run until midnight on Tuesday evening.

The delays are still expected for regional and long-distance trains as Deutsche Bahn reschedules around 50,000 services that had been cancelled.

The strike will still be valid for the other 49 transport companies represented by EVG.

On Friday evening, Deutsche Bahn called for an emergency court order to block the strike in order to maintain services for customers. On Saturday, EVG agreed to call off the strike and return to negotiations with the rail operator.

The warning strike was expected to bring much of Germany’s rail network to a standstill. EVG represents around 230,000 rail and bus workers from 50 companies, including Deutsche Bahn.

If the strike had gone ahead, all of Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance and most regional trains would have been cancelled, including ICE and IC services. The S-Bahn would have also been affected.

City operators including Berlin’s BVG and Munich’s MVV are not EVG members. Local transport, including U-Bahns and trams therefore remain unaffected. Deutsche Bahn’s head of personnel Martin Seiler condemned the planned strike as “crazy…baseless and totally excessive.

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