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Tariff dispute: New warning strikes affect tens of thousands of air travelers

Tariff dispute: New warning strikes affect tens of thousands of air travelers

The various tariff conflicts in German air traffic are once again forcing tens of thousands of air travelers to reschedule. Aviation security staff at several airports are now on strike.

The wave of strikes at German airports is not slowing down. According to industry estimates, tens of thousands of passengers will again not be able to travel as planned today due to warning strikes by aviation security staff at five airports.

The warning strikes last started at Berlin Airport that night, as a Verdi spokesman confirmed. According to Verdi, it was previously the turn of Hamburg, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Cologne airports. The Verdi union called for further warning strikes by aviation security staff this Friday.

Due to the all-day strike by aviation security forces, passengers can no longer enter the security area today. According to estimates by the airport association ADV, more than 580 flight connections are likely to be canceled and 90,000 travelers will have to reschedule.

On Friday, aviation security personnel are scheduled to stop work in Hanover, Dortmund, Weeze, Dresden and Leipzig and again in Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. Verdi also called on employees in personnel and goods control as well as cargo control at Munich Airport to go on strike from 4 a.m. today to 6 a.m. Friday. This particularly affects the freight sector.

Largest airport in Frankfurt not affected

Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt is not affected by the warning strikes by aviation security staff today and Friday. There, as well as in Munich, the two-day strike by Lufthansa cabin crew on Tuesday and Wednesday could still result in isolated delays and flight cancellations.

The collective bargaining in aviation security concerns the working conditions of around 25,000 employees of private security service providers. On behalf of the Federal Police, they check passengers, staff and luggage at the entrances to the security area.

So far, five rounds of negotiations have failed to produce any results in the conflict. Verdi is calling for an hourly wage increase of 2.80 euros over a period of twelve months, with overtime bonuses starting more quickly from the first hour of overtime.

Unions are currently covering air transport with a whole wave of labor disputes, which are sometimes leading to more and sometimes fewer restrictions for passengers. Lufthansa is particularly affected by this.

Sixth round of negotiations next Wednesday

According to their own information, the aviation security companies (BDLS) have offered 2.70 euros more per hour in three stages, which would increase monthly wages by 432 euros to 470 euros. The collective agreement should have a term of 24 months. A sixth round of negotiations with Verdi is scheduled for March 20th.

Negotiations are already underway again for the Lufthansa ground staff. According to Lufthansa, representatives of the company and the Verdi union have continued their negotiations. Both sides blocked the day for further talks.

Difficult situation for travelers

The situation is not easy for passengers because, due to another tariff dispute at Deutsche Bahn, they cannot currently rely on rail. The air transport unions do not coordinate with the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL). Nevertheless, there have already been two parallel labor disputes in air and train transport.

More money is not always the focus of collective bargaining disputes. The crux of the collective bargaining dispute at the railway is the GDL’s demand for a reduction in weekly working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours with the same salary. This has recently sparked criticism from the federal government.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck, for example, advocated on Wednesday evening that work should be given greater value, that it should be seen as something positive and that it should also be remunerated appropriately. “In any case, at the moment there is a bit too much striking or advertising for less and less work. And we really can’t afford that at the moment,” said the Green politician at the “Future Day for SMEs”. Germany couldn’t afford that in a bad economic situation. There are 700,000 vacancies reported, possibly even two million in total. At the same time, society is aging.

“I am observing a mentality in which people no longer strike for higher salaries, but rather for less working hours,” said Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) at the same event. “But it has never been observed in history that a society maintains or increases its prosperity by working less; instead, efforts usually have to be increased in order to achieve more prosperity.”

Source: Stern

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