1100 flight cancellations expected due to warning strike in Germany

Published: Thursday, Feb 1st 2024, 02:30

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Air passengers must have strong nerves this Thursday: The Verdi union began its warning strikes in aviation security late on Wednesday evening. The first strike was in Cologne/Bonn.

According to Verdi, the night shift at Cologne/Bonn Airport did not show up for work. The participation rate there was one hundred percent, said the responsible union secretary Özay Tarim. "It was a successful start to the strike."

Around 80 percent of the flight movements planned for Thursday in Cologne/Bonn were canceled, according to the airport website early Thursday morning. Verdi man Tarim expected this proportion to increase as the day progressed.

The consequences are even more serious at Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart airports, where all take-offs were canceled. In Düsseldorf, on the other hand, only a third of flight movements were canceled; two thirds were scheduled to take place.

Passengers cannot get through

Employees at the checkpoints at eleven major airports outside Bavaria have been called out. If they stop work completely, no passengers will be able to access the aircraft in the security area from outside.

In Frankfurt, the main customer Lufthansa intends to maintain the majority of its program, including long-haul flights. Flights for transfer passengers will also be offered. However, Lufthansa has warned that passengers may have to wait longer in the transit area. In order to speed up checks, passengers are being asked to keep hand luggage to a minimum.

According to estimates by the airport association ADV, around 1100 flights will be canceled or delayed. This would affect around 200,000 passengers.

2900 Swiss passengers affected

Around 2900 Swiss passengers are also affected by the strike. With a few exceptions, outbound flights to Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Stuttgart and Bremen can be operated from Switzerland, the airline told the Keystone-SDA news agency. But the return flights to Switzerland would have to be operated without passengers, with the exception of two flights from Düsseldorf.

Normal flight operations should not be possible again until Friday. The next Verdi warning strike is then already planned in Germany - nationwide in local public transport.

"Exerting pressure"

Trade unionist Tarim said they wanted to send out a clear signal. "We will now put pressure on the employers with employees so that we can finally make progress at the negotiating table." The employee representative criticized the fact that a security company at Düsseldorf Airport had offered an extra payment of 200 euros gross so that employees would come to work despite the warning strike. He considered such a "strike-breaking bonus" to be a provocation. The problem should be solved at the negotiating table instead of dragging it out with bonuses, he complained.

In the wage dispute, Verdi is demanding 2.80 euros more pay per hour, higher function bonuses and overtime pay from the first hour of overtime. The new collective agreement is to run for 12 months. The employers' demands go too far. The wage negotiations are to continue on February 6 and 7 in Berlin.


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