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GDL Causes Massive Train Service Disruptions in Germany

The train station board in Dresden Central station shows multiple train cancellations and delays.

Germany's GDL train drivers' union has announced a strike from Thursday afternoon until Friday evening, impacting both freight and passenger trains. 

The strike, a result of an ongoing wage dispute with Deutsche Bahn, will commence at 6pm local time for freight traffic and 10pm for passenger trains, concluding on Friday at 10pm. 

Travelers with planned journeys during this period faced significant disruptions and cancellations. The GDL strike prompted the Deutsche Bahn to implement extensive restrictions, affecting services from Thursday evening until Friday.

Freja Olsson, a 22- year-old student had to book a hotel in a hurry as her train from Prague to Hamburg was canceled, spending over EUR$85 (HK$700) for a hostel in Dresden Germany. “There had been multiple strikes in Germany this year and it had affected my traveling plans as they were all announced in a rush,” Olsson said.

According to the Deutsche Bahn’s website, affected travelers have the option to postpone their journey without any time limit, use valid tickets even if the route changes, cancel seat reservations for free, or receive a full refund without deductions for complete journey cancellations due to the GDL strike.

Deutsche Bahn advised passengers to refrain from unnecessary travel during the strike and postpone trips to another time.

Another traveller, William Anderson, 35, is planning to spend the night at the train station till midnight until the train returns to normal service. “I have gotten used to the strikes, it’s just normal to me,” Anderson said calmly. 

The GDL, in its pursuit of better working conditions, is demanding a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 hours per week for shift workers without salaries being cut, which Deutsche Bahn has refused. Additionally, they seek an increase of EUR$555 (HK$4,675 ) per month and a one-off inflation compensation bonus of EUR$3,000 (HK$25,271). Deutsche Bahn has said it made an offer that amounts to an 11 per cent raise.

Negotiations between the GDL and Deutsche Bahn broke down at the end of November, leading to the announcement of this strike. Simultaneously, the union has initiated a ballot for a potential indefinite strike, the results of which are expected before Christmas. 

Travelers are advised to stay informed about updates and alternative transportation options during this period of service disruption.


《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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