Those who can work from home today are lucky. For commuters and travellers, on the other hand, it will be a strenuous day: almost all public transport has come to a standstill due to a warning strike by the Verdi and EVG unions. Long-distance and regional rail transport is affected, as is local public transport in several federal states and almost all airports. What travelers should know and how to proceed:

To what extent is the railway affected?

The railway and transport union (EVG) has called a total of around 230,000 employees at around 50 railway companies to industrial action. As a result, rail traffic in Germany comes to an almost complete standstill. Deutsche Bahn stops long-distance traffic. Most regional and S-Bahn trains are also canceled – regardless of which company they are traveling for.

Which traffic areas are still on strike?

Local public transport is in the organizational area of ​​Verdi. Buses, trams and subways in the federal states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and in large parts of Bavaria should remain in the depots today.

Verdi is also on strike at German airports on a large scale – according to the airport association ADV, around 380,000 business and private travelers cannot take off. At the largest airport in Frankfurt, for example, passenger traffic comes to a standstill. There are no regular flight operations at Munich Airport even on Sundays and Mondays.

Shipping is also to be restricted. For example, large ships should not be able to enter the port of Hamburg. In addition, the motorway company is affected, which is responsible for safe operation on the federal trunk roads.

What is in store for drivers?

The streets are likely to be very crowded, especially in the cities where local transport is also on strike. At first it was feared that even tunnels would have to be closed because they could no longer be monitored. The motorway company rejected this fear and referred to planned emergency service agreements.

How long will the major strike last?

It started on Monday night at 00:00 a.m. – the walkout should last for 24 hours. EVG boss Martin Burkert had previously expressly recommended travelers to arrive on time at their destination on Sunday. However, travelers should not get stranded on the open route.

What’s next the day after?

In many places, the effects of the warning strike will still be felt tomorrow. In long-distance Deutsche Bahn, for example, it will take some time before the ICE and IC trains are back where they are needed. The train said that train cancellations can still be expected, especially during the daily start-up. Effects are also possible at the airports on Tuesday.

Will there be more major strike days soon?

The big joint strike day is a long-planned but initially one-off action by the unions involved. With the warning strike in time for the start of the third round of negotiations for the public service in Potsdam today, Verdi wants to increase the pressure on the municipalities and the federal government. If both sides now come to an agreement in Potsdam, the EVG railway union would no longer be able to join forces with Verdi for possible further rail strikes anyway. But in view of the confrontational situation, further strikes in the public sector are far from off the table.

What is the train about?

The EVG is fighting for more money with around 50 railway companies – especially in view: Deutsche Bahn. For the railways, the second round of negotiations will begin next week. The EVG wants to get back together with Deutsche Bahn at the end of April. So there is time for more rail warning strikes.

Could it then hit the Easter traffic?

EVG boss Martin Burkert does not rule out warning strikes at Easter. Nevertheless, the union recently made it clear that it had the interests of Easter travelers in mind.

Is the joint strike day legal?

The right to form trade unions is enshrined in the Basic Law, industrial disputes are legally protected. The federal government also referred to the fundamental right to strike. Warning strikes in the public sector and on the railways are legal after the end of the peace obligation – but there is criticism that the unions are intertwining the two. The chief negotiator for the municipalities, Karin Welge, says: “In the end, no one can understand exactly which collective bargaining round is going on strike and where.” Employer President Steffen Kampeter says: “Big strikes that are supposed to paralyze a country are not warning strikes.”

Is the super strike day making negotiations more difficult?

In any case, the top municipal negotiator Welge is “a bit angry,” as she says. The mayor of Gelsenkirchen accuses the trade unions of acting as if no compromises are conceivable. A result should now be found in Potsdam. However, unions and employers are far apart: The unions want to get 10.5 percent more income over 12 months for the 2.5 million employees of the municipalities and the federal government because of the high inflation, at least 500 euros more. Employers do not want a minimum amount – and offer 5 percent more wages over 27 months.

Which scenarios are conceivable?

Verdi boss Frank Werneke has been speculating at rallies across the country for weeks about a possible temporary failure. The possible scenarios include an agreement in Potsdam, an arbitration procedure, an appointment for another round or a ballot and a forced strike.