The labor court in Frankfurt am Main has given the green light for a strike by Deutsche Bahn train drivers. The court rejected the company’s urgent application for an interim injunction against the renewed industrial action and classified the strike as permissible. Deutsche Bahn then announced that it would appeal.

“DB will now have the verdict reviewed in the second instance before the Hessian State Labor Court,” the company said in a statement. “In the interest of our customers, we are doing everything we can to stop the wave strike.” “The strike announcement is far too short-term. There are also unlawful demands,” said Florian Weh, general manager of the rail employers’ association AGV Move. Accordingly, negotiations should take place on Tuesday.

Achim Stauß, spokesman for Deutsche Bahn, still hopes to stop the GDL strike through legal action. In the program “RTL Direkt” he explained why the railway would appeal against the decision of the Frankfurt labor court, which had allowed the walkout: “We have to try everything. We also owe that to our passengers. We also owe that to the companies and “Companies are guilty who in the economy give us goods that we transport in freight transport.” Stauß continued: “You have to ask yourself why a union that wants from 38 to 35 hours, when it could have 36, why it would then paralyze the entire country and endanger the economy and disrupt the travel plans of millions of people. That is no longer proportionate, that’s stubborn.”

The GDL federal chairman Claus Weselsky explained after the decision: “The court has confirmed it once again: the GDL strikes are proportionate, permissible, legal and therefore suitable for pursuing the legitimate demands of the railway workers through industrial action.” The train drivers’ union now hopes “that the Hesse State Labor Court will confirm the legality of our industrial action,” said Weselsky.

On Sunday, the GDL called for a 24-hour strike in passenger transport with a comparatively short lead time, which is scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

Even if the strike had been overturned, it would have made little difference to the restrictions expected for millions of passengers on Tuesday. Within a few hours of the strike announcement, the railway had again organized a limited basic passenger transport service. Changing this emergency timetable again after a possible court ban on strikes would have been difficult given the short time until the start of operations on Tuesday morning. Accordingly, passengers have to be prepared for the fact that only about one in five long-distance trains will be on the road throughout the day.

During the ongoing conflict, the railway had already tried to legally prevent a labor dispute by the GDL, but was unsuccessful in two instances. After collective bargaining negotiations failed again, the company called on the union to hold further talks at the beginning of March. The GDL made this conditional on the railway submitting a new offer. The union’s ultimatum to the company’s management had expired just over two hours on Sunday evening when the GDL announced another strike.

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