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Dear Colleagues and Visitors to this Website, 

The European Works Council has now supplemented the national employee representative bodies in the DB Group at European level for more than 14 years. 

The EWC is meanwhile made up of representatives from 18 different countries. Together, we protect the interests of all employees of the DB Group. In recent years, we have got to know and understand numerous problems that confront employees in other countries and other parts of the Group. We learn from each other and with each other. 

As the representatives of employee interests, we are constantly faced with new challenges resulting from the far-reaching consequences of the Europeanisation process at the DB Group. Traditional actions and responses are no longer effective and individual national strategies frequently prove inadequate. We now have to think and act on a European scale if we are to live up to our claim of representing the social rights of all employees throughout the entire DB Group. We are all pulling in the same direction to ensure that implementation of the DB internationalisation strategy pays due attention to social aspects. In future, the decisive criteria will no longer be the national, but the international markets. Accordingly, we see our work in the EWC as a contribution towards the creation of a more socially just Europe. 

I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead of us in Europe and cordially invite you to make use of the EWC to voice your concerns within the DB Group.  

  • Jörg Hensel of DB Cargo Deutschland, was elected Chairperson at the meeting of the European Works Council in Berlin on 16 October 2012.

Ladies and gentlemen,

as the working world continues to shift, our efforts for collaboration in the social partnership with the representatives of our employees are of critical importance. While such shifts are a necessary part of how companies develop, the sweeping changes they bring are impacting employees in very real ways. It's clear to me that people are at the core of the changes taking place. After all, change doesn't happen on its own  – we can take an active role in shaping it and it's our responsibility to do so. The best approach to achieving this is to work closely and constructively with our employee representatives.

One of the most significant facets of the shifts we're experiencing is digitalisation, a development that touches every one of our companies across Europe. Digitalisation changes the way we do business by causing market shifts and prompting our customers to change their requirements, but also by giving us new opportunities to offer our customers. New tools and new ways of working have also emerged that will change the way we cooperate. Our goals are to build our employees' skills to prepare them for the digital world and to adapt working conditions accordingly.

Change also means bridging the gap between the working world as it has been and the way it is now. With the world around us becoming more flexible by the day, tools and processes of the past are quickly made obsolete. The pace of this change is accelerating as we experience a trend across Europe toward increased individualisation. Our response can only be to involve employees to a greater degree and to grant them more leeway in creating their own working conditions.

I look forward to engaging in robust dialogue on these topics with our employee representatives on the European Works Council. I am confident that together we will forge a path toward progress for our customers, our employees and our companies in Germany and the rest of Europe.

Yours faithfully,

Deutsche Bahn AG

Martin Seiler