Berlin (dpa) – The arbitration attempt between Deutsche Bahn and the German Locomotive Union (GDL) has failed. The GDL rejected his proposed settlement, mediator Matthias Platzeck (SPD) said in Berlin.
That’s really more than a shame. From my point of view, we were close to our goal, ”said the former prime minister of Brandenburg. Bahn personnel director Martin Seiler called the union’s actions “incomprehensible” and “irresponsible.”
The federal group suffered heavy sales losses in the Corona crisis. The federal government wants to support the company with a capital increase of five billion euros. But the group should also save, around two billion euros in personnel. As early as September, the railways and the largest rail and transport union (EVG) agreed to significantly lower wage increases than in previous years when collective bargaining was advanced. In return, the employees received a job guarantee.
The GDL refused to participate in the negotiations at the time. But she was forced to referee. After three weeks of negotiations, Platzeck made a proposal to both parties. This provided for a 1.5 percent rate increase for a 24-month period. In addition, employees would have received a one-time tax-free payment of € 800 for the lowest salary groups and € 600 for the highest salary groups.
It was based on the recently adopted collective bargaining agreement in the public service, Platzeck said. With the proposal, he went beyond the rate agreement with EVG, which does not include such a premium.
The GDL didn’t go far enough with the offer. The salary increase would have lagged the development of other systemically important professions, such as public service, GDL chief Claus Weselsky said. Employees would have been “duped” with the one-time salary and salary increase of 1.5 percent in January 2022.
In addition, the GDL stated that its autonomy in tariff matters was threatened: “In return, DB demanded a trilateral agreement with the EVG, with the aim of eliminating our tariff autonomy for the future.” DB director of personnel Seiler rejected this accusation. During the negotiations, Platzeck proposed to sit down with the GDL and the EVG to discuss the future approach to tariff issues. The group did not reach an agreement based on this.
The background for this discussion is the Unified Collective Bargaining Law, according to which a company has only one collective agreement with the union with the largest number of members.
After the failure of the arbitration, there is no threat of strike because the collective agreement with the GDL remains in force until the end of February. However, with arbitration, the railroad had brought the union to the bargaining table earlier than usual.