"It's a mess to go on strike every time. Deutsche Bahn only to the K*. No understanding. Here the customer is terrorized. This is embezzlement. Protection Racket Extortion. Actually, rail customers should go on strike.” Four exclamation marks.
That's what it sounds like when people's anger boils up on Deutsche Bahn's Facebook profile. Because the company has announced that it will largely have to stop operations for one day due to an employee strike.
The strike by two unions means that hardly anything will work at Germany's train stations, ports and airports this Monday. And the outrage at this restriction in their mobility habits knows no bounds for many.
The anger is once again vented most strongly on the railways. Because most Germans can agree on train bashing. As if on cue, they are now foaming at the mouth again, because they have to do without a service for 24 hours, which they consider to be the greatest possible impertinence the rest of the year. Apparently, abandoning the train seems to be even worse for them. Maybe because then they can't triumphantly announce their delays.
I commute regularly between Hamburg and Munich for professional reasons. By train. I travel around 50,000 kilometers by rail every year. I know every type of fault from A for air condition broken to Z for train cancellation from personal experience. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, the anger of the Germans at the railways and the strike alienates me.
It begins with the fact that the outrage on the strike is presented with great sharpness, but at the same time remains unclear at the core. It's not entirely clear who exactly is meant when "the train" is scolded. The term itself describes the company, but in this case it can't really go against the DB Group.
The employer did not call for a strike. Accordingly, the outrage is directed against the railroaders. Against all the ruthless switchmen, impudent garbage can emptyers and the already impossible train attendants who are taking the whole country "hostage" for better pay, as can be read.
Such exaggerations show what many rail haters lack: respect. Anyone who spends a lot of time on trains regularly experiences people who show disrespect in dealing with the people who work there in a way that is otherwise rarely encountered.
As a matter of course, most leave their headphones on when the tickets are checked. The train staff is only noticed when there is something to complain about. But then it quickly becomes all the more personal.
The on-board bistro waiter shouted together, as if she were personally responsible for the whole messed-up life of the business traveller, who was threatened with a half-hour wait in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe because of a missed connecting train. "You may not be able to do anything about it now, but..."
Every Hans and Franz plays at the railway like Count Koks from the gas works. Every announcement that the journey to Hanover will be delayed by five minutes is at best greeted with malicious grins and sarcastic laughter.
The start of the new week in Germany will be overshadowed by a massive public transport strike. In addition to buses, trains and airports, parts of the motorways are also affected. WELT economic correspondent Philipp Vetter says that tunnel closures are also to be expected.
Quelle: WELT/ Thomas Klug, Franca Lehfeldt
With sayings about the train you can always hope for cheap encouragement, even in the evening in the game of skat. And now they're on strike too - haha. As if that would make a difference - you never get there by train anyway!
The truth is that the train actually gets you there almost every time, somehow. While there's almost always a problem with something, in the end it's usually just a matter of a few minutes, if it gets really big, maybe a couple of hours. Happy are those who have no major problems in life.
Where does this entitlement actually come from? Where does this self-evident expectation of punctuality and permanent availability of a service that one can use or leave come from? There is no basic right to be chauffeured anywhere at any time. It's great that you can still almost always do it. Not this Monday.
What there is, however, is a right to strike. People can fight for more money at double-digit inflation rates, many may even have to, because otherwise they are not only denied the flight to Mallorca and the train to Westerland on strike days, but always.
Because they can no longer afford vacations. If you talk to managers or entrepreneurs, they usually express understanding, even if it gets on your nerves. Why is solidarity so low among employees of all people?
The fury of strikes is often cloaked in worries about the economy. Now of all times, after the pandemic, supply crisis, war, you can't paralyze our infrastructure for a whole day! The truth is that wage demands are also a consequence of the crisis and inflation. The economy will survive. Higher wages also mean more purchasing power, and trade is happy.
The outcry is great because the Kiel Canal will also be closed on Monday. Our main logistical artery is completely sealed – how big will the economic damage be from that alone? Zero, say those who know. Only recently was the channel blocked for several days for other reasons. The ships just sailed around Skagen.
We'll all find some way to get by this Monday. We just have to want it.
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