Thursday, November 15, 2007

I need to unionize

Seriously, dude. The Deutsche Bahn drivers want a 31% pay raise!

And they'll probably get it, too, if they continue to make everyone's lives miserable like this.

I used to get 2 or 3% in Boston every year. That was for being a good employee. If I had gotten mediocre reviews, I wouldn't have even gotten that much (they had a complicated formula for it all worked out). It didn't even keep up with inflation. And Boston was considerably more expensive than any German city. But analysts can't unionize...I think there might have even been some kind of rules against it. I need some ultra-specified skills! Like train driving. Or nursing...they were allowed to unionize and as such had better raises, better health insurance, better time off, and better everything.

Also, I would like to point out for the benefit of people who don't live in Germany and hold the general belief that train travel is a cheap way to get around that the Deutsche Bahn is seriously expensive. They have deals, but they are hard to find. Deals are available either only at the desk, or only online at some site that you can't figure out and not the regular site, etc. Also if you get a deal and miss your train, you can't use it and have to buy a new ticket. This is even if missing your train is the fault of the DB. If we lived in a city with an airport, flying would probably always be cheaper than taking the train, but as it stands, we have to take the train to get to the airport. So, in the end, it comes out about the same, or the flight savings are reduced to an amount that isn't worth saving (because flying is a pain). Why are the trains so expensive? And where's it all going if these drivers are so badly underpaid? Is it going to cost us even more if they get the raise?

If there is no analyst or epidemiologist or nerd union, I need to change my field of work! I'm not even being facetious. I want to unionize.

News link: Biggest German rail strike in history starts to bite

*Interesting but unrelated note - the strikes are much worse in the former East, where we are going this weekend. They showed a map on the news and it seriously looked like a map from 1985 with a big line drawn right where it used to be. What's with that? We thought maybe that politically strikers have more public support in those areas, but that's our only guess.


  1. Public support has nothing to do with it.
    The strikes concentrate on the east because a good proportion of train drivers in the west are still [i]Beamte[/i] - which can't strike.
    DB now uses these [i]Beamte[/i] to replace the striking workers, but that only works in the West - hence only 50% or so of trains in the West missing, but some 90% in the East.

  2. The train service in Berlin is awful now. The S-bahn is striking almost every week, and it's the only means of transportation I have to get to work/out of the-middle-of-nowhere ganz im Nord where I live.. So that's fun.

    I've just read your last year-and-a-couple-of-months worth of adventures in Deutschland - it's great.

  3. If you are going to the East this weekend, is Dresden on your itinerary? I've managed to find a ride via

  4. Kato, Thanks for the info, train guru!

    Christine: We are having S-bahn problems regularly in this area too - luckily I don't need it to get to work but some of my coworkers do and are always worrying about it. That sucks.

    Ian: That's a great idea! I wish we'd thought of it before we got train tickets...argh. Although I'm sure traffic will be heavy, if nothing else it would have been a lot cheaper!

    Sara: Yes please! But even collectively, I'm sure nerds have no bargaining power. I've always liked trains...I should learn to drive one! Unless it requires brute force, in which case I'm in trouble.

  5. The strike is actually sorta funny. I go 60 km by train every morning - and of course my train is running, no matter how much they strike. Sure, i have to be at the station 10 minutes early, and switch over in Friedrichsfeld, but it's running. And it's emptier than usual.

  6. Kato: I think you are living in the right state then! I don't think the people in Sachsen were so lucky...


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