Train drivers affiliated with the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) have initiated their longest strike in an ongoing industrial dispute with Deutsche Bahn (DB), the national rail operator. The strike commenced on Tuesday evening in freight transport and was later expanded to include passenger transport early on Wednesday morning. The industrial action is slated to continue until Monday at 6:00 pm, leading to substantial disruptions in long-distance and regional services.

Deutsche Bahn has responded by implementing a reduced timetable for the duration of the strike, with information available on the railway’s website and app. To assist passengers, the company has established a free information hotline offering personalized details about travel schedules. Travelers with tickets for the affected period can utilize them for travel after the strike, and seat reservations can be canceled without charges.

This marks the fourth and lengthiest strike by the union in the ongoing dispute, and notably, it encompasses an entire weekend for the first time. The impasse in the wage dispute remains, with no negotiations between the GDL and DB since November 2023. The GDL is advocating for a reduction in weekly working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours while maintaining the same salary. In response, DB has proposed a pay model involving a one-hour reduction without a corresponding salary decrease, which the union has rejected.