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(en) Making tracks - railway workers on the move

From Ziggy <ladystardust@gmx.co.uk>(Prol-Position)
Date Wed, 4 Dec 2002 07:23:12 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

It looks like we are going to have a strike at German Railways 'DB
Regio' In    January, which would be one of the first strikes at German
Railways  since 1856, or at least since a hell of a long time. More or less
by chance the job centre put me on a three month training scheme
to   become a McTraindriver, meaning that we will work for the
out-sourced   cleaning-company of the railways, driving the trains from the
work-shed, the shunting tracks or after the cleaning back to the main
station. Of
course we will have worse working conditions than the 'real' train drivers
of 'DB Regio', who did this work up to now. The train drivers will also
loose the breaks that they now have while they are waiting on the shunting
tracks for the next journey.

We are the first group of young unemployed which have done this training,
the whole out-sourced ?driving-service? of the cleaning company is new.
The interesting thing is that in November the main railway-union
Transnet/GDBA has signed a contract with DB Regio which would contain a
vast deterioration of the working conditions of the train drivers, such as:
* after 10 minutes of regular break (due to a ?gap? in the time-table)
the wage will be reduced by 50 per cent - up to now it was after a one hour
break that this happened;
* you will only get 50 % of the wage during the journey-time to another
station, to get the train that you have to drive
* Christmas- and holiday pay will be reduced by 25 per cent

There are some more cuts which all in all amount to 16 additional unpaid
shifts per year and a ?loss? of 1,400 work-places. The smaller union GDL
is now starting a campaign against this new contract. The GDL is the former
train drivers union which used to be more conservative, given that up to
1990 all train drivers were contracted as civil servants and therefore
not allowed to go on strike. Now this union tries to gain new members by
trying to appear as the more militant one. At DB Regio the GDL organises
three quarter of the effected 14,000 workers, less and less of them civil
servants (meaning possible scabs). The drivers at my work-place are very
angry, everybody is talking about strike, so the GDL will be under pressure
to stick to their 'promises'. The earliest date for a legal strike would be
the 1st of January.

It would be great if you could send material on the situation and
strikes at the railways in your region.
For example:
* about the last railway workers strike in France at the end of November
or the occupation of the Eurostar-Tracks by train-restaurant workers in
* the still ongoing strike at Arriva in GB or the wildcat in Glasgow in
November against the utilisation of security guards as casual train
* the wildcat Strikes in the Netherlands in 2000 (?), which were supported
by independent collectives of railway 'customers'
* the rail drivers strike of ILDA members in Irland in 2001 (?)
* in Sweden/Stockholm DB Regio has got a 4 years contract for providing
and driving the commuter trains

It would also be interesting to know how the shunting between station and
work-shed or waiting track is organised in your region.

We could use this material to write a leaflet or provide information
in   other form in order to support the strike.

Abrazos and hope to hear from you soon

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