Austrian railway workers went on a one-day strike at midnight. International connections are also affected, including those between Austria and the Czech Republic or Germany.
The strike is also reflected in increased traffic on Austrian roads. In Linz, the situation was further complicated by the action of climate activists from the Letzte Generation (Last Generation) movement, who stuck to the road on one of the motorway feeder roads.
For 24 hours on Monday, traffic on Austria’s railways almost reached a standstill. Railway workers demand a pay rise of around 12 percent because of 11 percent inflation. Employer representatives offered only 8.4 percent on Sunday, and collective bargaining was suspended.
The one-day strike affects, among other things, all international connections with Austria. Czech Railways has warned that replacement services are not provided in Austria, even on cross-border sections.
Night services, for example, between Prague and Zurich or Vienna and Berlin, have been restricted from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning. On Monday, Czech Railways operates all interstate long-distance trains within the Czech Republic to and from the last border station.
The Czech private company RegioJet has announced that it will replace all its services from Breclav to Vienna and from Vienna to Breclav with its yellow buses. Budapest services will be diverted via Bratislava. German rail carrier Deutsche Bahn has announced that its night trains from Monday to Tuesday will also be affected.
Municipal transport companies, including metro and tram operators, remain in operation. However, trolleybuses in Salzburg and city trains in Vienna are not running.
Motorists should expect heavier traffic on roads and highways. The Austrian railway company ÖBB encourages its customers to postpone unnecessary journeys or use alternative means of transport. The Austrian Automobile Club even advises people to work from home if possible.
“Especially on urban motorways in the metropolitan areas of Vienna, Klagenfurt, Innsbruck, and Linz, congestion and delays are to be expected,” a spokesman for the Austrian Road and Motorway Administration (Asfinag) told Der Standard.
In Linz, police said three activists stuck to the carriageway of a motorway feeder, further complicating the traffic situation in the area.
ÖBB chief Andreas Matthä told an Ö1 radio station on Monday morning that he had “no sympathy” for the strike. He said the employer’s offer in collective bargaining was “more than fair and more than attractive.” Matthä expects traffic to return to normal on Tuesday essentially.
According to ÖBB, around 8,000 passenger and freight trains of various operators usually are on the road in Austria. Approximately one million people travel by train every day in the Alpine Republic.