March 5. 2024. 9:09

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German airport ground crews to strike on Friday


Amid continued fights over remuneration, labour union ver.di has called for strikes at multiple German airports to be held Friday in what could bring some of Europe’s largest air travel hubs to a standstill.

The German labour union ver.di has called on employees at the Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Hannover and Bremen to strike during all of Friday.

As regular public sector contract negotiations, which often apply to airport employees too, are coming up, the union wants to up the pressure for a favourable negotiation outcome. Locally, ground transport crews are negotiating their pay rise. Air traffic controllers are similarly negotiating country-wide.

Due to the strike, which the union says is due to the persistent labour shortages in the sector that warrant a hefty pay rise, domestic flights are expected to be severely disrupted. This may range from delays to a total standstill of air traffic, with travellers urged to consider alternative means of transport.

“All tasks that enable full flight operations are suspended due to the strike,” said Fraport, who operates Frankfurt Airport, the largest in Europe. Travellers were told to avoid the airport on Friday, although airlines have yet to start cancelling flights on a large scale. Fraport was expected to handle about 1000 flights on the day of the strike.

Similarly, other airports where ground crews are striking would be unable to handle passenger flights, ver.di expert Manuela Dietz told Reuters.

This is likely to affect the operations of the Munich Security Conference, an annual high-level security policy meetup, as privately operated planes may not be able to land in Munich the day the conference kicks off. State aircraft are expected to be able to land, however.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer, Oliver Noyan, Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)