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Denmark’s trains face several days of delays due to strikes

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark’s trains face several days of delays due to strikes
DSB rail services could face several days of disruption with workers taking strike action. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

National rail operator DSB says it expects rail services to be affected for several days as a result of strikes by staff.

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Trains on several routes in Denmark were cancelled on Tuesday morning due to the spillover effect of Monday's strike by train maintenance workers

DSB said routes between Helsingør, Nivå and Copenhagen, Næstved and Copenhagen, Esbjerg, Kolding and Fredericia, Kalundborg, Holbæk and Copenhagen, and Odense to Copenhagen were among those affected.

The whole country was hit by cancellations and delays on DSB's trains on Monday. A representative from the rail workers’ trade union, Dan Kirchhoff, told media TV2 Øst that his members believed that the company had offered insufficient salary increases. 

New walkouts on Tuesday were confirmed by DSB, which also said it expected rail traffic to be affected for several days by the situation.

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“We expect cancellations, downgrades and shorter trains on a good number of routes in many parts of the country today. That is due to unsanctioned strikes at DSB workshops,” the company wrote.

The strikes are described as “unsanctioned” (overenskomststridige) because they were not approved or announced by the rail workers’ trade union. This makes them in breach of Danish labour laws, leaving the rail staff open to potential fines by the national Arbejdsretten (Labour Court).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is a Danish collective bargaining agreement?

Strikes approved by trade unions and announced in advance to employers are a common occurrence in Denmark when collective bargaining negotiations for wage and working conditions (overenskomster) hit a deadlock. In these cases, workers are not in breach of labour laws when striking.

Such negotiations are not currently ongoing.

"We believe in the Danish [labour] model and reaching solutions to disagreements through negotiations and not by refusing to work," DSB head of communication Niels-Otto Fisker said following a meeting between the conflicting sides at the labour court on Monday.

The group of striking workers on Tuesday is not the same as the group which walked out on Monday, news wire Ritzau reports.

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