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Meeting of the European Works Council of DB AG

Key issues at the meeting of the European Works Council of DB AG in Berlin

The predominant topic at the meeting was the economic crisis and its effects on the transport sector.

All the members of the Council (EWC) reported drops in sales, some quite sharp, which as a consequence have led or will lead to (planned) job losses in every country with the exception of Luxembourg.

Whereas in passenger transport there had been virtually no decrease, the decline in sales in freight transport and logistics was over 30% (year-on-year comparison in June 2009).

In August 2009 falls in sales throughout Europe at DB Schenker were down by some 25% compared with August 2008.

Consequently the number of employees in the DB Group has fallen since the beginning of the economic crisis. In August 2009, there were over 4000 fewer employees than in August 2008.

Cuts in personnel have been carried out in a variety of forms, ranging from temporary contracts not being extended, trainees not being given permanent jobs at the end of their training (e.g. in Germany), vacancies not being filled (e.g. Belgium), the 4-day week without any wage compensation (Latvia) and massive redundancy measures (e.g. Poland).

The members of the EWC expressed their concern that the company may not be able to find new qualified employees when the economy begins to recover.

The topics talked about by the employer representatives during the briefing and hearing primarily concerned the financial situation of the DB Group, personnel development and the effects of the economic crisis on the transport and logistics sector.

Various sub-projects in the Group's reACT09 programme, with which the DB Group aims to counter the effects of the crisis, were also talked about.

During discussions with the employer representatives, the EWC members put forward the idea of an internal Group labour market.

Employees of the DB Group in Romania are now also represented on the EWC (by Cristian Afrenie, DB Schenker Romtrans Romania).

The next meeting of the EWC will be held from October 19 - 21, 2010 in Berlin.