Germany's train drivers are on strike yet again. What is this even about? Utterly annoyed, DW's Editor-in-Chief Alexander Kudascheff remembers when all train drivers were public servants - and not allowed to strike.
No, thank you. We've had enough. Not another train strike. Not another strike organized by the GDL union, that small train drivers union that overestimates itself and takes itself too seriously. Not another strike we average citizens don't understand!
Nothing but power play
It's not about money or better working conditions, it's not about retirement pay - this strike is only about this small fringe union's claim to power, led by a chairman who enjoys quasi revolutionary posturing. It's about his union, his power, his claim to power. He's showing rail operator Deutsche Bahn a clenched fist; he's showing us citizens a clenched fist.
Yes, the wheels have come to a standstill. But this isn't about the right to strike, or kindergarten teachers and how our children and grandchildren are being looked after, it's not about social equality and certainly not about closing an equality gap or making society more human, or granting train drivers a better life. It's about self-fulfillment at the people's expense. Average citizens are being collectively punished because, well, because this is what the GDL wants.
No compromise in sight
The union seems oblivious to the possibility of compromise, and a willingness to talk seems just as nonexistent. Instead, a union blockhead is calling the shots, while gutting the right to strike. People's patience - not to mention understanding - is being severely tried. Even liberals feel it might be best to turn Deutsche Bahn back into a state company with state officials. What a success for a union. If they were public servants, train drivers could again drive trains instead of striking!