Arbitration: GDL refuses solution in the crisis

Conciliator Platzeck makes recommendation – DB agrees – GDL rejects and shirks responsibility

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Berlin, 11 November 2020 – The conciliation procedure ended with a conciliation recommendation by the jointly appointed conciliator Matthias Platzeck. After seven days of negotiations, the conciliator today presented both parties with his recommendation for a collective agreement, which also includes a contribution to dealing with the corona damage, in the negotiations between Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Union of German Locomotive Drivers (GDL). While DB agreed to the settlement proposal, GDL rejected a solidarity contribution in times of crisis.

The conciliator had presented a comprehensive and balanced package of solutions. The package includes wage increases of 1.5 percent and an additional corona bonus of 800 euros or, in some higher pay categories, 600 euros. The package also includes a new bonus to reward the imparting of knowledge to junior staff and career changers, the creation of the conditions for discounted company job tickets, the establishment of a fund to promote mobility, as well as measures to renew the pension scheme.

Martin Seiler, DB’s Chief Human Resources Officer, said: „It is completely incomprehensible that GDL is shirking its responsibility in the middle of this biggest crisis and refusing to find a solution. We would have gone to the limits of what is possible with the conciliation award because it contains elements of wage growth and securing the future even in difficult times. GDL is completely ignoring the further increasing corona damage“.

The demands of the train drivers‘ union published in October showed that GDL unfortunately does not seem to be interested in concrete solutions for employees. Instead, demands such as changes to the group structure, which cannot be the subject of collective bargaining, were in the foreground.

The further increase in corona damage would make a counteraction urgently necessary, Seiler continued. In the interests of the employees, the tax-free payment of the proposed corona premium, which is only possible this year, would also have been a good solution.

In September, DB had agreed on a collective bargaining package with the Railway and Transport Union (EVG). It was a comprehensive, forward-looking collective bargaining package, which includes wage increases, improved protection against dismissal, a continuation of recruitment initiatives and the extension of arrangements for childcare and care during Corona periods.

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