GDL boss Claus Weselsky: no agreement, “if the train restricts us”

Status: 06.09.2021 10:29 a.m.

GDL boss Weselsky accuses the railway of wanting to restrict its union to train drivers and train attendants. It should be permanently prevented that the GDL achieve the majority in rail companies, he said in a joint Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF.

The head of the train drivers’ union GDL, Claus Weselsky, has accused Deutsche Bahn of wanting to prevent further collective agreements of his union. The railway limits the GDL to train drivers and train attendants and refuses to conclude collective agreements for employees in the workshop and administration, Weselsky said in a joint statement Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF. This should permanently prevent the GDL from being able to achieve the majority in the respective company.

Weselsky sees this as a violation of the freedom of association guaranteed by the Basic Law. This allows unions to recruit members to represent their interests and negotiate for these collective agreements.

The collective bargaining agreement of the union with the largest number of members in a company comes into effect. In the case of the railways, this is usually the Railway and Transport Union (EVG). The GDL is only trying to organize “the majority in the company,” said Weselsky. “We do union work. What’s wrong with that? Should we go under permanently?”

It’s not just about the money

Weselsky indirectly admitted that the strike is not primarily about money. “I don’t have to agree to 3.2 percent if the railway permanently restricts us to train drivers, train attendants, on-board restaurateurs and thus prevents us from actually being able to reach the majority in the respective company,” said Weselsky. The GDL would defend itself against this. This is not about supremacy.

Andreas Franz, MDR, on the GDL strike

tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 6.9.2021

The GDL is demanding 3.2 percent more money with a term of 28 months and a corona premium of 600 euros. At the start of the strike, the railway had submitted an improved offer. For example, the group is promising a corona premium of up to 600 euros for 2021 and a collective agreement term of 36 months. The wages are to rise in two stages by 3.2 percent.

Weselsky “very satisfied” with strike

Weselsky also rejected the criticism of DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann and sees the GDL wrongly in the pillory. Hoffmann had accused the GDL of particular interests and attempts to profile the larger rail union EVG. Weselsky said he would like a chairman of an umbrella organization of trade unions to keep an eye on cause and effect. The DGB boss was the one who initiated the collective bargaining law. And now the GDL is being accused of recruiting more members.

“Well, I don’t know exactly what the law was created for,” said Weselsky. This said very clearly: If you have more members in the company, your collective agreements will be retained in the future.

The GDL is “very satisfied” with the previous strike at Deutsche Bahn. The third round of strikes in the ongoing collective bargaining dispute is expected to last until early Tuesday morning (2:00 a.m.). “It is clear to us that this is unpleasant for customers,” said Weselsky. The competitors of the Deutsche Bahn keep the traffic according to information completely upright. These are also the proof that employers allow their employees the “proper wage increases”.

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