German airports ”shut down” | Security staff on strike


11 German airports will be on strike tomorrow as the Verdi union has called on aviation security workers to go on a day-long stoppage, grounding flights at some of Germany’s biggest airports, including the global hub of Frankfurt, in the latest wave of strike action by transport workers affecting Europe’s biggest economy.

Security staff will hold strikes at airports across Germany on Thursday, including the country’s biggest hub in Frankfurt, the German union said, in an attempt to increase pressure on the German government in the context of wage negotiations.

The one-day strike is planned at Hamburg, Bremen, Bremen, Hannover, Berlin, Cologne, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt and Stuttgart airports, with Verdi specifying that it is targeting both freight transport and passengers. However, it is not clear how many flights will be affected.

Europe’s largest economy has been hit by a series of subversive and costly work stoppages affecting air and rail travel as workers demand higher wages to cope with the effects of inflation.

The union is negotiating on behalf of 25,000 aviation security workers, demanding a €2.80 per hour pay rise and more generous overtime pay.

“Our aim is to compensate in the long term for the loss of purchasing power of workers,” said Verdi head Wolfgang Pieper. He added: “Work for aviation security staff must remain economically attractive so that the urgently needed skilled workforce can be attracted and retained.”

According to Verdi, the wage increase that has been offered amounts to 4% for this year and a further 3% for next year, which the union has described as “totally inadequate”.

Talks are expected to take place on 6 and 7 February.

In addition to the airport strikes, Verdi is planning a separate public transport strike on Friday in 15 of Germany’s 16 states.

The airport measures

As part of tomorrow’s strike action, the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport said in a statement: “Security checkpoints outside the transit area will be closed. As a result, it is not possible to board flights from Frankfurt.”

Passengers who had planned to start their journey from Germany’s largest air hub were asked not to come to the airport, according to Fraport, which added that 1,050 departures and arrivals were initially planned.

A spokesman for Berlin-Brandenburg airport said all departures would be cancelled on Thursday, but flights would resume as normal on Friday at the start of the winter holidays in Germany’s capital.

Similar measures are expected to be taken by Hamburg airport. “All 126 departures on Thursday will be cancelled or carried out without passengers,” the airport said, adding that cancellations and delays are also expected for arrivals.

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