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Deutsche Bahn files legal action over train driver strike

German train operator Deutsche Bahn has applied for an injunction in a bid to stop a strike called by the train drivers’ union GDL. The company says the short lead-in time for the walkout cannot be justified.

Germany’s national rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Monday said it had filed an urgent application before a labor court in Frankfurt against renewed strike action by the GDL train drivers’ union.

The company argued that a reduced notice period ahead of the strike, announced on Sunday evening and starting as early Monday, was unreasonable.

What did Deutsche Bahn say about the strike?

The strike was “groundless” and the “unpredictability of train traffic was unacceptable,” the company said.

“Deutsche Bahn has criticized the GDL’s actions in the strongest possible terms and has now filed a legal appeal to stop the strike,” it added.

The operator also slammed the “far too short lead time of only 22 hours,” saying it was a “sheer imposition” for passengers.

GDL announced the walkout on Sunday evening, in line with the union’s announcement last week that it would not provide at least 48 hours of notice ahead of any strike.

When it comes to passenger transport, the strike is due to begin on Tuesday at 2 a.m. (0100 UTC/GMT) and is set to last for 24 hours. For freight transport, the action is set to begin on Monday at 6 p.m. and will also last a full day.

Deutsche Bahn said it had published a reduced timetable for long-distance travel online on Monday morning, to be followed by a timetable for local and regional trains. 

What is the strike about?

The strike is the sixth in a wage dispute that has lasted for months, and it comes just days after the latest round of industrial action.

GDL’s core demand is for shift workers to have weekly working hours reduced from 38 to 35, with no change in their pay.

Previous strikes saw the railway provide about 20% of the usual long-distance services. There was a varied impact on regional transport. 

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