The Swiss Federal Railway is currently trying to fill a gap of 30 drivers a day. Stress and holiday compensation are among the reasons for the shortage.
The companyexternal link has introduced special measures, including a bonus of CHF80 ($80) a day for those who work on their days off, Federal Railways spokesman Raffael Hirt told the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA, confirming information that had appeared in the tabloid Blickexternal link on Thursday.
One reason for the shortage is that staff who did extra shifts during the summer event season are now on leave, which is why the situation is “still under pressure” on certain weekdays, he said.
There are also several drivers on sick leave at SBB-Cargo in Brig – these are stress-related due to the workload, according to Blick – and a lack of drivers for the block train part of the business. But thanks to the efforts of staff, including drivers coming from other depots, only a few trains have been cancelled, according to Hirt.
Also affected by stress are the people working in operational planning for trains and staff, who are also under pressure to counter the shortages.
Hirt added that in many areas of the company babyboomers were about to retire, which also added pressure to the situation. The company would improve its recruitment planning for future, he said.
The news comes at a time of increasing scrutiny for the company. On September 4, the embattled head of Swiss Federal Railways, Andreas Meyer, announced he would step down by the end of next year. The state-owned railway company has been embroiled in a safety row following a fatal accident that killed a conductor at the beginning of August.