German Union Favours Drivers’ Right to Drive Trains in Shorts


Should train drivers be in shorts or full trousers? This is the question creating sharp disagreement between union amd management in German railways

The council of the labor collective of the regional communications operator, Regionalbahn Alb-Bodensee (RAB), which is part of the German railways (DB), appealed to the DB management with a request to positively resolve the issue of introducing shorts in the uniform of locomotive drivers.

This council is managed by representatives of the German Locomotive Engineers Union (GDL). The employer strongly rejected this requirement, because he believes that drivers in shorts do not look serious and will not contribute to the formation of a positive image of DB among passengers.

In this regard, the GDL union issued a special statement, where it noted that uniform shorts look much more serious than regular clothes that are now worn by train drivers (DB binding, which was mandatory for train drivers, was canceled several years ago). In addition, some German transport companies allow the appearance of drivers at work in shorts and do not see this as a problem.

Another DB argument in favor of trousers rather than shorts is that in shorts the driver can scratch the thorns and other vegetation along the sludge paths. GDL insists that DBs are required to maintain staff workplaces in an appropriate manner.

The cause of the disagreement between the union and DB was the intense heat in Germany. The temperature in the driver’s cab can reach +40 ° C with a faulty or missing air conditioner. The GDL union does not understand why DBs are abandoning such an inexpensive way to improve working conditions for workers (photo: DB).

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