At its online meeting on Tuesday, January 30, the rank-and-file Rail Action Committee condemned the abrupt termination of the train drivers’ strike by the GDL union leadership and unanimously adopted the following resolution. Get in touch with the action committee and register using the form below and the Whatsapp number +49-163-337 8340.
By prematurely calling off the strike, the GDL leadership has shown that it is not prepared to fight against the Deutsche Bahn (DB) board and the federal government, which stands behind it.
Just a few hours after announcing the cancellation of the strike, service sector union Verdi announced it was calling on transit workers at Berlin’s public transport system (BVG) to go on a warning strike. Subsequently, around 90,000 local transport workers across Germany have been called out on warning strikes on Friday and 25,000 security workers at Germany’s major airports on Thursday.
Similar strikes are developing in France, other European countries and worldwide. In addition, farmers’ protests are spreading to France, Poland and Austria.
The GDL leadership and its chairman Claus Weselsky wanted to prevent the train drivers’ strike from coinciding with this growing wave of strikes and protests, which are objectively directed against the government.
The aim of the GDL leadership is not to push through the interests of its own members, not even the justified demands for a €555 monthly pay rise and a reduction in working time from 38 to 35 hours per week.
Despite 97 percent of all GDL members speaking out in favour of indefinite strikes to enforce these demands the GDL leadership has simply ignored this.
Weselsky never misses an opportunity to rant against the “management suits” and accuse them of failing. But now he has joined them in turning against his own union members and the working class. In the five weeks up to March 5, secret negotiations are to be held between GDL and DB.
Weselsky always emphasises that he is not engaged in class struggle, but rather in the market economy, i.e., in the social and economic system that claims there is no money for us employees.
That is nonsense: there is money, but it is being used for war and to enrich the billionaires and multi-millionaires. The Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) receives €100 billion. Ukraine and Israel are supplied with weapons and money in the billions. The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, and the welfare state cut back.
The bigger the crisis, the more the trade unions close ranks with those in power, forming a common front with the government and corporations.
We must therefore take the initiative ourselves and break through the control of the trade union apparatus.
A first step must be the independent unification of as many workers as possible—beyond the narrow boundaries imposed by the unions, beyond national and sectoral borders. This is what the action committees stand for.
Our allies are neither the trade union apparatuses nor the parties in the Bundestag (parliament). Our allies are the workers in all sectors and in all countries.
We are reaching out to our brothers and sisters in local transport and at the airports. Join us. Strengthen the existing transport workers’ action committee and set up your own at the airports.
We appeal to all railway workers, regardless of union affiliation: Reject the GDL’s secret negotiations! Get in touch with us to take the strike into your own hands!