This month there was a big strike at the railroad. The railroad workers first paralyzed freight traffic on the tenth of August and then passenger traffic on the eleventh. The whole strike action lasted until Friday 13 August.

The Gewerksachaft deutscher Lokomotivführer (GDL) is demanding a salary increase of 3.2 percent over 28 months and a Corona bonus of 600 euros. In addition, the strike is also directed against the cancellation of the company supplementary pension which the railroad terminated at the end of 2020 without replacement. This means that if, from 2021, Deutsche Bahn stops paying contributions for a 45-year-old train driver today, the company pension will then only amount to 100 euros at retirement instead of the current 150 euros.

This is not a particularly high demand, given that the upcoming inflation rate is 3.8 percent, so that the demanded salary increase does not even fully compensate for this. Nevertheless, the media and the management are launching crude agitation against the strikers.
Railroad board member Martin Seiler, for example, speaks of an "attack on the whole country".
The Bild Zeitung calls the strike "lacking solidarity" and the FAZ asks how the government can allow a "small but powerful union with 25,000 members to take the whole of society hostage again and again."

This agitation also shows results. Many people know that colleagues have been upset about the strike in the last few days and have scolded the striking railroad workers. That is why it is important to take a correct stand on this issue.

Was there ever any other way for us workers to fight for better working conditions than strike and political struggle?
Rights like the 8 hour day were not won by pleading with the capitalists. They were won by organized workers through strike and bloody class struggle.
The members and supporters of the GDL are waging an economic struggle to assert the interests of the workers against the company that exploits them. This is absolutely and perfectly legitimate and the problem is not that the strike is too radical but, on the contrary, that it is not radical enough. If the GDL were to conduct this strike indefinitely until the demands were met, Deutsche Bahn would have no choice but to meet the demands of the strikers. That the GDL is not doing this is a problem, because obviously the majority of the strikers want to continue the strike. GDL chairman Weselsky says that it would have been difficult for the striking colleagues to end the strike after the planned date. Continuing it would have been the right thing to do. In the end, the GDL leadership does not fully represent the interests of the workers, but wants to negotiate compromises between the workers and the company. That is precisely why it is important that we as the working class also resolutely assert our interests against the right-wing union leadership.