verdi union strikes at german airports
ARCHIV - 28.02.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln: Eine Gruppe Streikender mit gelbe Ver.di-Westen steht im Köln-Bonn-Airport. Verdi ruft Sicherheitskräfte in der Fluggastkontrolle an mehreren deutschen Flughäfen für Montag zu ganztägigen Warnstreiks auf. (zu dpa «Verdi ruft für Montag zu Warnstreiks an Flughäfen auf») Foto: David Young/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled due to strike action at major German airports. The strikes are part of an ongoing wage dispute between security workers and airport employers.

Walkouts at major German airports

Yesterday, security workers staged a full-day walkout at six German airports, including Berlin, Cologne/Bonn and Dusseldorf. The strike has resulted in a high three-digit number of flight cancellations, German airports association, ADV said. At Cologne/Bonn, 94 out of 136 flights were called off, and over half of the flights at Dusseldorf were cancelled, according to Reuters.

verdi union workers stirking at frankfurt
Security workers striking at Cologne/Bonn airport | © Reuters

Today, the strike action has continued, with walkouts at Frankfurt and Hamburg airports. At the time of writing, 84 flights have been cancelled at Frankfurt and 55 at Hamburg (data from FlightAware).

The union action comes at a difficult time for the aviation industry. Still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, airlines are now having to contend with the impact of the war in Ukraine. Airspace closures have meant that airlines have had to cancel or alter long-haul routes, and fuel prices are steadily rising, putting many airlines under financial pressure.

The workers’ demands

The walkouts are being led by Labour union Verdi, who are demanding that airport employers raise security staffs’ wages by a minimum of 1 Euro per hour for at least the next 12 months. Additionally, they have demanded that staff in different areas of Germany earn the same amount.

The association of aviation safety companies, BDLS, has called these demands “Utopian”, noting that the requested combined pay would amount to a 40% increase. The next round of wage talks between the two parties is due to take place tomorrow and on Thursday.

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