Meeting of the European Works Council of DB AG in Hambourg
Main topics of the meeting of the European Works Council of Deutsche Bahn AG held in Hambourg on 27 -30 March
Prior to the EWC meeting, Deutsche Bahn AG's European Works Council and the Group Works Council held their first joint meeting.
Key issues were the impact of digitalisation on work and working conditions in Germany and Europe.
Both bodies agreed that technological progress cannot be stopped, but the digital revolution must be managed in a way that minimises negative consequences for employees.
During their discussion with representatives from Central Management, members of the EWC and GWC called on the DB Group to follow this approach, stating that older employees in particular required opportunities in the form of a programme of training measures.
The participants then agreed to continue sharing information and establish productive connections between the EWC and GWC cooperation in the future.
Digitalisation and its impact within the DB Group were also the focus of the EWC meeting that took place afterwards.
Of the other issues discussed, the main ones were the difficulties at DB Cargo, the economic situation of the DB Group as a whole, the results of the 2016 employee survey, and the new campaigns to attract staff.
According to the new Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, Dr. Lutz, the financial situation at DB Group improved in the past year. The Group generated a profit of EUR 716 million last year, and the overall trend is positive.
The situation has also stabilised somewhat at DB Cargo, but this business unit still faces difficulties. The long-promised IT masterplan has still not been produced. It is also unclear if the European Order Management system will actually be introduced.
EWC members criticised the 2016 employee survey sharply. Works council members and employees in a range of countries have still not received any information about the results. The results have been publicised in some countries, but no workshops have been announced or held.
The EWC members nominated by the EWC to prepare the employee survey have had almost no opportunities to contribute their suggestions to or voice their criticism of the questionnaire's contents and structure.
The EWC also expressed its doubt that employees would want to continue participating in the survey if they cannot see any improvements regarding issues they have criticised.
On the last day of the EWC meeting, members formed groups and visited the marshalling yard in Maschen (rail freight), the ICE (Intercity Express, high-speed train) depot and S-Bahn (light urban rail) depot in Hamburg, where they gathered information about the employees' working conditions.
The next meeting of the EWC will be held from 09 - 12 October 2017 in Marseille.