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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Düsseldorf and Cologne: Verdi calls on airport staff to go on strike

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The Verdi union has called for strikes at the airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne. Hundreds of flights were postponed or canceled entirely on Monday. Anyone who wanted to travel at the start of the week needed strong nerves early in the morning.

Due to warning strikes, many connections at Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn airports will be canceled on Monday. The first work stoppages began late Sunday evening. In Cologne/Bonn, according to the Verdi union, employees in aviation security were called upon to take part in the warning strike – i.e. employees in personnel and goods control as well as freight control. “All control points are closed,” said a Verdi spokesman late on Sunday evening.

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The airport had announced (as of Sunday afternoon) that 131 planned passenger flights could not take place between 6 a.m. on Monday and 6 a.m. on Tuesday. 136 are regularly planned during this period. In Düsseldorf, it was assumed that almost 200 take-offs and landings would be canceled – with 330 flight movements originally planned for Monday. “The strike has been going on since 3 a.m., and around 700 to 800 strikers are expected throughout the day,” said a spokesman in Düsseldorf. Passengers were informed about the changed flights via the airlines at the weekend, so only a few guests came to the airport on Monday morning.

The Verdi and Komba unions have called for the warning strikes. The background to the strikes are the collective bargaining for employees in the public sector at the federal and municipal levels, as well as local negotiations for employees in ground handling services and nationwide negotiations for employees in aviation security. Verdi and the German Association of Civil Servants rejected an employer offer from the federal and local governments in the second round of collective bargaining on Thursday. The third wage round is planned for March 27th to 29th in Potsdam.

Emergency operation at the airport in Düsseldorf

The warning strike is scheduled to begin early Monday morning at Düsseldorf Airport. In any case, they want to maintain emergency operations, the airport said. Emergency service agreements have been made with the unions. Last but not least, it is about ambulance and relief flights.

In Cologne there had also been legal disputes between the airport and Verdi over the occupation of the airport fire brigade. In the end, both sides agreed that it must include 24 emergency workers during the warning strike.

Day care centers, public transport, offices and hospitals are also on strike in NRW

In addition to the two largest airports in NRW, there were also warning strikes in many other areas of public life in the most populous federal state on Monday, such as on buses and light rail, in daycare centers and offices. Several rallies are also planned.

Verdi announced, among other things, that many daycare centers in Cologne, Bonn, Troisdorf, Hennef and Gummersbach would be affected by the warning strikes. Municipal hospitals and waste disposal companies in the Verdi district of Cologne-Bonn-Leverkusen are also affected. Citizens would have to be prepared for longer waiting times in offices. In Münsterland, Verdi called for warning strikes at some city administrations and municipal companies.

The employers had presented an offer during the nationwide negotiations for employees in the federal and local governments. It includes, among other things, a pay increase of five percent in two steps and one-off payments totaling 2,500 euros. The unions rejected the offer as insufficient. Verdi and the civil servants’ association are demanding 10.5 percent more income, but at least 500 euros more per month. Collective bargaining is scheduled to continue on March 27th.

Source: Stern

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