Strike action continues at German airports

Europe Materials 14 January 2019 23:25 (UTC +04:00)

Following strikes and severe disruptions of air traffic last week, Germany's second largest workers' union ver.di called on security staff at eight German airports to go on strike in the continuing wage dispute, the union announced on Monday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The warning strike will start on Tuesday and affect airports of Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, Bremen, Leipzig/Halle, Dresden and Erfurt.

"Employers would have been able to respond to the warning signals," Ver.di board member Ute Kittel commented and explained that employers' lack of "willingness to submit an improved offer has made it necessary to extend the warning strikes".

Ver.di expects that the strike action will severely restrict German air traffic. According to the airport association (ADV), at least 220,000 travelers will be affected by cancellation and delays.

The association condemns the strike as "ruthless action". Ralph Beisel, Managing Director of the ADV, said that "once again the airports are being abused as the scene of a labor dispute in which they are not even a collective bargaining party."

The announcement comes after four unsuccessful rounds of wage negotiations between the employers' association for aviation security (BDLS) and the workers' union.

"BDLS has still not reacted with a negotiable offer, although the employees in the previous warning strikes have made it impressively clear that they are prepared to stand up for their demands," ver.di divisional manager Benjamin Roscher commented.

Ver.di is demanding hourly wages of 20 euros (22.9 U.S. dollars) nationwide for about 23,000 air security staff. Also, wages in the air industry still differ greatly between eastern and western Germany.

The next round of negotiations is scheduled for Jan. 23 and 24.