Truly German – Episode 01 – 31st July 2009

Truly German is a new podcast that talks about the news in Germany.  Sometimes this will by national news, maybe political, but we will also be covering some local topics.

We want to have some fun at the same time, so part of the podcast is our Länderquiz – in which my contestant has to guess in which Bundesland three different news stories took place in.

This week the topics are:

  1. Agreement ends strikes in German Kindergartens
  2. Swimming pool closed due to leak
  3. Divers find Mercedes in a lake
  4. German minister’s car stolen in Spain

The quiz covers the following stories:

  1. Europe’s first passive swimming pool
  2. New motorway has speed limits imposed due to heat
  3. German’s oldest steam engine

Please listen to the first episode and tell us what you think:

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More railway strikes in Germany

We thought it was all over – but obviously it isn’t. The Bahnstreiks, or railway strikes. It seems that the union that represents the train drivers is planning strikes for next week, even though they effectively got what they were asking for.

Just listen to the details of the deal that they worked out with Deutsche Bahn recently:

  • an extra wage agreement “Tarifvertrag” for train drivers
  • a back-dated one-off payment
  • an 8% wage rise from March 2008
  • a further 3% wage rise in September 2008
  • a reduction of working hours from February 2009 onwards

There are probably many unions out there that can only dream of an 11% wage rise!

But now they cannot agree on what to do with shunters, or with temporary staff leased from other parts of the company.

And because they cannot agree, the GDL – the union representing the train drivers – says that they are going on strike again on Monday. Indefinitely.

Indefinitely? Because of a few small details? They didn’t even go that far to get their main targets met!

In the meantime the poor passengers are left stranded, and probably wishing that they could have an 11% wage rise as well.