commuters and passengers German train get angry these days. Trains are less punctual than they have been for a long time. Numerous construction sites and more and more traffic on the tracks are the reasons.
However, the railway and transport union wants to know another reason for the delays and raises serious allegations. the Deutsche Bahn resists the criticism.
Deutsche Bahn so unpunctual as not for a long time
The railway and transport union criticizes that the railways have largely gotten into the tense situation due to a lack of staff. “The shortage of skilled workers has also affected DB AG,” said Vice Chairman Martin Burkert of the German Press Agency. The group rejected the union’s criticism as “much too general”.
Burkert said: “A lack of staff is already leading to significant restrictions in rail traffic and limited services on the trains.” He also said: “The millions of overtime hours can no longer compensate for possible train cancellations. There is an acute need for action.”
In a letter to HR Director Martin Seiler, the union admitted that the number of employees had increased slightly. Nevertheless, urgent warnings from employees about a lack of operational personnel are now coming almost daily. “Whole shifts in train operation, in maintenance or in signal boxes can no longer be manned.”
Extreme staff shortage – employees have to pay for it
As a result, trains were not provided on time, there was a lack of readiness in the event of disruptions and staff shortages, and a lack of drivers led to breakdowns almost every day. “In many areas, train traffic can only be maintained by working a large number of overtime hours.” 300 or more hours of overtime are not uncommon for train drivers, for example.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn referred to a hiring offensive in a statement on Saturday: “Deutsche Bahn has given more than 90,000 hiring commitments in recent years, created a total of 19,000 jobs and increased the number of apprenticeships by 60 percent. This year alone, more than 24,000 new colleagues will come on board.” However, the corona pandemic and the discounted 9-euro ticket have changed the general conditions significantly. These factors could lead to “selective personnel bottlenecks”.
More news about Deutsche Bahn:
According to the Group’s most recent internal personnel report from July, Deutsche Bahn has 1,600 more employees in Germany than a year ago, a total of around 221,300. In most business areas, however, the number of employees was still below plan. At the same time, salaried employees at Deutsche Bahn accumulate 6.8 million overtime hours in Germany, 300,000 more than a year ago. Overtime has been a hot topic at Deutsche Bahn for years. Before the Corona crisis, for example, their number was 6.4 million in the summer of 2019. A few years earlier, eight million hours of overtime were on the Deutsche Bahn account. The number of employees has also increased. (dpa)