Berlin — Air travellers in Germany must once again prepare for considerable delays and cancellations on Monday after trade union Verdi called on security staff to go on strike at the capital's BER airport as well as at the airports in Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen.
Longer waiting times and even flight cancellations are to be expected, Verdi announced on Saturday.
The union has called for the labour action, following its unsuccessful collective bargaining for an appropriate payment for aviation security employees for working at inconvenient times.
Verdi says it has been in negotiations with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) for years, but local negotiations for ground handling workers and public service workers at the federal and local levels also played a role, it said.
The extra payment had not been improved since 2006, and an increase had been discussed since 2013, Verdi stressed.
It was last agreed to continue negotiations at the beginning of 2019. According to Verdi, they were started in January and continued in February 2020. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the talks were not continued by the BDLS.
The union said the BDLS was only prepared to negotiate the demands through a renewed agreement in the 2022 pay round. The employers had not submitted an offer so far. No statement was initially available from the employers' group.
At Hamburg airport, Verdi called on about 2,000 workers to start a 24-hour strike at the beginning of the night shift on Sunday at around 10 pm ( 2100 GMT). There had already been a 24-hour strike at the airport in mid-February. According to the airport, 253 flights and about 32,000 passengers were affected.
At the capital's BER airport, the strike is to start at 3:30 am on Monday morning and end at midnight. Verdi expects around 300 participants.
At the airports in Hanover and Bremen, it is expected that passenger planes will not be able to take off or land on the day of the strike.
On Friday, there were long queues at Munich airport due to strikes in the public service sector. Baggage control staff had stopped working for five hours. However, only a few flights were cancelled.
The union is demanding 10.5% more pay, or at least €500 ($532) more per month, for the approximately 2.5 million federal and local public sector workers nationwide.
The employers' side has so far offered 5% more money in two steps and one-off payments of €2,500. The third round of negotiations is scheduled for March 27-29 in Potsdam just outside Berlin.
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