25,000 employees at Germany’s airports go on strike

After the train mechanics, a strike has started at the airports in Germany. On Thursday, February 1, 25,000 people working at Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt and Stuttgart airports are going on strike.

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After the strike of train mechanics in Germany, this time there is a strike at the airports. Around 25,000 people working in security and ground services at Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt and Stuttgart airports are going on strike on Thursday, February 1.

The United Service Workers’ Union (ver.di) has called a warning strike after collective bargaining talks with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) broke down. Many scheduled flights will be affected by the strike. Among them are Turkish Airlines’ (THY) flights to Germany.

According to a statement released by Turkish Airlines Press Office, Turkish Airlines flights TK-1337 Istanbul-Leipzig and TK1338 Leipzig-Istanbul have been canceled due to the strike by ground handling staff. Other flights canceled due to the strike are as follows: TK-1668 Hamburg-Istanbul Airport, TK-1664 Hamburg-Istanbul Airport, TK-1662 Hamburg-Istanbul Airport, TK-7882 Sabiha Gökçen Airport-Hamburg, TK-7883 Hamburg-Sabiha Gökçen Airport, TK-1726 Berlin-Istanbul Airport, TK-1724 Berlin-Istanbul Airport, TK-1722 Berlin-Istanbul Airport, TK-1728 Berlin-Istanbul Airport, TK-7729 Berlin-Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

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Berlin Brandenburg Airport has announced that no departures will be possible on Thursday due to a warning strike. Passengers have been asked to contact their airline companies to book their tickets and find out about alternative travel options. Landings will also be affected by the strike. A total of around 170 take-offs and landings involving around 50,000 passengers were planned for Thursday at Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

The flight security branch includes personnel working in passenger control, passenger and property control, cargo control and service areas. In 2023, Verdi paralyzed many airports with strikes by security personnel.

“It is disproportionate to paralyze air traffic in Germany with a warning strike by air safety employees,” said Matthias von Randow, Managing Director of the Association of the German Airline Transport Industry (BDL). “Instead, every effort should be made to find a solution at the negotiating table or through mediation,” said von Randow.

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Last week the employers brought to the union for the first time “an offer of early payment of overtime premiums for part-time workers”. Verdi, on the other hand, criticizes the failure to reach an agreement on a wage increase in three rounds of bargaining. “The work of flight safety employees must remain financially attractive so that the necessary workforce can be attracted and retained,” Verdi’s negotiator Wolfgang Pieper said, adding that they want to permanently offset the loss of purchasing power of employees.

Pieper said that even now there are few skilled workers at airports who work flexibly around the clock, including on weekends and holidays. “Security in air transport cannot be provided for free,” Pieper said, adding that the employers’ proposals so far were “completely inadequate”. The next round of bargaining between the employers and the union will take place on February 6 and 7.

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