Germany to launch nationwide campaign against abuse towards DB staff
The German Ministry for Transport and EVG trade union have announced that they will run a nationwide campaign against passenger abuse of Deutsche Bahn (DB) staff. Verbal abuse towards DB staff has increased fivefold in the past decade.
Germany launches Bahnhöflichkeit campaign against abuse
The German Ministry for Transport and EVG trade union, which represents the majority of rail workers in the country, have announced that they will run a nationwide campaign against passenger abuse of DB staff.
The “Bahnhöflichkeit” campaign, which takes its name from a portmanteau of Bahn (train), Bahnhof (train station) and Höflichkeit (politeness), will run for two years. During this time posters will be displayed on trains and in train stations across the country, asking passengers to have “mehr Achtung” (more respect) for staff.
Transport Minister Volker Wissing said that he hopes the campaign will “send a signal in society”. “We have identified many problems which are concerning to me,” the FDP politician said during his announcement of the new campaign.
Abuse towards transport staff has risen sharply in Germany
In recent years, incidents of abuse involving employees working for DB and other public transport companies in Germany have been on the rise. Physical injuries inflicted on staff working on buses and trains have tripled, according to EVG boss Martin Burkert, with 3.200 cases in 2022. Burkert pointed out that, on a small number of occasions, these cases have also resulted in the death of staff members.
More common, however, are threats, verbal attacks and spitting directed towards DB staff, the frequency of which has quintupled in the past 10 years. This timeline mirrors a sharply dwindling quality of service provided by the private company, which is likely to rack up another record-breaking year of delays in 2023.
Wissing pointed out that while customers may be frustrated with the state of the Bahn, this disappointment should not be directed at staff working on transport services.
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