Worker strikes cause flights to be cancelled again in GER

Airport strikes disrupt travel plans for thousands in Germany amidst pay dispute and nationwide demands for higher wages.


On Monday, workers at airports in Bremen, Hamburg, and Berlin went on strike, resulting in cancelled flights and disrupting travel plans for around 45,000 passengers. The Verdi trade union called for the walkouts due to a pay dispute concerning compensation for working night shifts, weekends, and bank holidays. The airports’ management offered an increase of a total of 5 per cent in two stages and a one-time payment of EUR 2,500 (~ INR 22,000) per employee, which the unions rejected as insufficient to cover their expenses.

The difficult pay negotiations for employees of Germany’s federal and municipal governments have caused several strikes across the country, including those of air safety and ground service workers. The unions are demanding a 10.5 per cent pay raise, and the next round of talks is scheduled for March 27.

Similar strikes were observed on February 17, 2023. It was reported that ground staff, aviation security staff, and public service employees at seven German airports, including Frankfurt, had gone on strike, causing significant disruption to travel. The United Services Trade Union, Ver.di, based in Berlin, organised the strike as a warning to airport management. They began early in the morning and continued until late at night, affecting airports in Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Dortmund, Hamburg, and Hanover.

The strikes come amid rising living costs, which have prompted similar demands for higher wages and better working conditions in other countries. In the UK, teachers, university lecturers, train and bus drivers, among others, staged a walkout last month. In France, more than a million people marched against the government’s plan to raise the retirement age to 64.

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