The GDL train workers’ union in Germany has begun a new strike that will affect freight and passenger traffic, and it says it may go on for longer that the last one, which lasted six days.
It is the ninth stoppage in ten months, and economists say it costs Germany about 100 million euros a day. It has contributed to dragging German growth figures down in the first quarter, and is driving yet more customers into the arms of private competitors, to which Deutsche Bahn has been losing out for years.
The GDL insists there are real issues of representation to be addressed, but there is also a feeling the GDL is playing hardball to scupper a rail union rival and attract new members.
Only about one-third of long-distance trains are running, and only 10% of traffic is moving in east Germany.