Strikes For Members

Strikes in Austria: How will transport and services be affected?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected] • 28 Nov, 2022 Updated Mon 28 Nov 2022 09:06 CEST
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Photo: PIERRE TEYSSOT/AFP

Austria will be hit by several strikes this week. Besides the ongoing train disruptions, workers in the trade sector have also signalled a walkout. Here's what you need to know about the disruption and your rights.

Austria's rail workers with ÖBB started a strike on Monday, affecting all train traffic nationwide after salary negotiations ended with no deal. 

The strike includes ÖBB trains but also some regional transport, including the S-Bahn system that goes through Vienna. In the Austrian capital, transport operated by Wiener Linien, which includes metros, buses and trams, won't be affected.

Additionally, cross-border rail traffic and trains from Westbahn will be hurt as ÖBB also operates Austrian train stations.

Due to the all-day strike, there may also be individual train cancellations on Tuesday, November 29th. Information on this can be found in the ÖBB timetable information SCOTTY.

Vida, the trade union representing the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent. In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered a rise of 8 percent.

READ ALSO: Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

What you should know about the rail strike

Sparschiene and other ÖBB tickets booked for travel during the strike are valid until December 5th 2022 or can be cancelled, refunded or rebooked, ÖBB said. You can do so at all ÖBB travel centres or ticket counters and at the customer service under 05-1717 9.

Westbahn is asking customers to cancel tickets, which can also be done retroactively.

It's important to know that municipal transport companies do not recognise ÖBB tickets. Exceptions include the Austria-wide climate ticket and regional climate tickets, including season tickets.

If you are stranded due to the strike, the costs for adequate hotel accommodation and taxi costs to the hotel must be covered by ÖBB. There are no claims for compensation for delays if - as is currently the case - you were informed about the delay or cancellation before you bought your ticket. In the event of disputes, the Agency for Passenger Rights (APF) can provide assistance.

READ ALSO: ‘Excessive and irresponsible’: Austrian train workers threaten to strike over salary demands

According to passenger rights, a journey can also be made by other means of transport (such as taking a. bus), but the APF advises clarifying this and confirming the company will refund costs to the railway company beforehand. In any case, the agency tells consumers to keep all receipts. 

ÖBB said: "We will look at and evaluate each complaint individually. However, it must be considered that the strike was announced in advance."

The company also said that it does not offer any replacement services. However, the CAT train in Vienna, which connects the city centre to the international airport, has a replacement making Wien-Mitte - Airport journey. 

Will there be more train strikes ahead?

That is difficult to predict. ÖBB said: "This has not yet been decided at the moment. However, we hope for an agreement between the employer and employee representatives in the near future."

In case there are no deals between the parties, workers could announce another (and perhaps even longer) walkout.

What other strikes are coming?

Austria is not a country that sees many strikes, but the rising cost of living has put pressure on the yearly salary negotiations. 

Brewery workers are also stopping work on Monday due to failed collective bargaining negotiations. Further talks with company representatives are scheduled for December 9th.

Additionally, talks in the trade sector have been stalling, Austrian media reported. 

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

The discussions over the trade agreement are about higher salaries for around 430,000 employees and apprentices in the retail, wholesale and car trade. 

On Tuesday, further negotiations could avert strikes, but the meeting still needs to be confirmed. According to APA reports, more than 300 companies had passed strike resolutions at works meetings. 

Among them are large retail chains (including from the food industry), textile chains, wholesalers and DIY stores. The workers could walk out later this week, Vienna.at said.

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Amanda Previdelli 2022/11/28 09:06

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