Flights canceled: Security personnel at several German airports go on strike

Passengers at many German airports should expect flight cancellations and delays on Monday. The Verdi union called on security forces responsible for controlling passengers at several German airports to launch warning strikes throughout the day on Monday. At Cologne/Bonn airport, staff stopped working shortly after midnight, Verdi’s spokesman confirmed at the request of the German news agency.

According to the union, the security forces at the airports of Dusseldorf, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover and Leipzig stopped working since the early hours of the morning. The union assumes about 1,350 employees nationwide are participating in the warning strike.

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At affected airports, passengers should expect significant restrictions in some cases. Passengers should find out about delays or cancellations from airlines and plan more time for their flight, according to Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (FBB). More than half of the regular flights at Cologne/Bonn airport have been cancelled, and Düsseldorf Airport expects similar numbers. Several flights were also canceled at the capital’s BER airport on Monday morning.

The warning strikes are part of a wage struggle between Verdi and the Federal Aviation Security Association (BDLS). The union is negotiating with the employers’ union a new collective agreement for about 25,000 security forces across the country, and three rounds of negotiations have so far remained unsuccessful. The two sides wish to meet on March 16-17 in Berlin for further negotiations.

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At the end of February, after two rounds of negotiations without result, there were warning strikes on individual airfields. At the beginning of March, the third round also did not produce a result. Verdi describes the employer’s offer as “insufficient”. The Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies has talked about rough estimates after recent talks, but ideas are still far apart.

Verdi wants to sign a twelve-month contract and increase his hourly wages by at least one euro. The salaries of baggage and personnel inspectors should reach the level of personnel in passenger control, and personnel in aircraft security and boarding passes control should be paid uniformly across the country.

The Airports Association ADV criticized the strike call as “disproportionate”. “We urge our collective bargaining partners to seek agreement at the negotiating table on the points in dispute,” said ADV CEO Ralph Bissell. (dpa)

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