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Germany: Strikes at airports extended to Friday

March 13, 2024

The Verdi trade union has said security staff at several German airports will walk out on Thursday and Friday, posing major disruption for travelers. Five rounds of collective bargaining have failed to yield results.

Striking aviation workers at Frankfurt Airport
Airport strikes have been announced for yet another dayImage: Florian Wiegan/Eibner-Pressefoto/picture alliance

Strikes by security personnel at several regional airports are set to cause flight cancellations and disruptions in Germany on Thursday and Friday.

Trade union Verdi announced that further labor action was planned for Friday, a day after it said personnel would strike at five airports on Thursday.

What airports are affected?

Trade union Verdi said that security staff would strike all day Thursday at Hamburg, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Cologne and Berlin airports.

The ADV airport association estimated that more than 580 flights were likely to be canceled and some 90,000 people would have to reschedule travel on Thursday. 

Additional strikes on Friday will hit Hanover, Dortmund, Weeze, Dresden, Leipzig and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airports. 

At Munich Airport, staff in personnel and goods control as well as cargo control are also set to strike from 4 a.m. on Thursday until 6 a.m. on Friday

Hanover Airport in north-central Germany announced that all Friday departures between midnight and noon were canceled, but arrivals would not be affected.

German strikes hurting economy and travelers alike

What is the union demanding?

Verdi is calling for an hourly wage increase of €2.80 ($3.07), higher performance-based bonuses and better terms for overtime. It says the measures are necessary to counteract inflation in recent years.

The union has been in collective bargaining talks with BDLS, the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies, which presented a counteroffer of a €2.70 wage increase phased in over a longer period.

"The employers did recently submit an admittedly improved, but far from satisfactory offer," Verdi's lead negotiator Wolfgang Pieper said earlier this week. "We will not come together this way."

Negotiations are set to resume on March 20.

Aviation and railway staff have gone on strike a number of times in the past 12 months — including simultaneous strikes on Tuesday — repeatedly grinding Germany to a halt as workers demand better pay and conditions. 

zc/wmr (dpa, Reuters)