Nobody would be upset about a strike in the land registry office, but a strike in the transport infrastructure draws Verdi the greatest attention. When they largely paralyze seven German airports on Friday, the union also summarizes several parallel collective bargaining conflicts in air transport. The most important questions and answers about the warning strike.
Which groups of employees are involved in the wage conflict?
Basically, there are three groups that are actually negotiating for themselves, but have now been called together by Verdi to go on a warning strike. Airports were or are often in the hands of the municipalities, so that many employees, for example in the fire brigade or the airport administration, are paid according to the collective agreement of the public service. The second group are aircraft handlers, fuel tankers or baggage workers who work for ground handling service providers that have been spun off, for which there are regional negotiations and in some cases in-house tariffs. Thirdly, Verdi is negotiating nationwide for around 25,000 aviation security assistants. These are the people who screen passengers, luggage and staff before they are allowed to enter airport security zones.
Why is Verdi calling for a warning strike?
The focus is on collective bargaining in the public sector, which will continue in the second round on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Verdi wants to persuade employers to submit a negotiable offer. "The employees, who are often precariously employed at the airports in particular, now need signs from their employers that they are moving, and above all they need significantly more money quickly," says Verdi Vice President Christine Behle.
What is the union asking for?
In the collective bargaining dispute in the public sector, Verdi and the civil servants' association are demanding 10.5 percent more income, but at least 500 euros more for the approximately 2.5 million federal and local employees. The term should be twelve months.
Verdi wants to push through significant salary increases for employees in ground handling services. The deal for Berlin Airport could serve as a blueprint: with 360 euros more per month and an inflation compensation premium of 2,500 euros.
In the case of the aviation security forces, the union refers to allegedly fruitless negotiations about surcharges and other provisions in the general collective agreement after they had pushed through high salary increases last year. The employers' association BDLS rejects the accusation of a lack of cooperation.
Are all flights canceled on Friday?
Not all flights in German airspace are canceled. So far, warning strikes have been announced at seven locations. In Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Hanover, Bremen and Dortmund, there will probably only be an emergency service for military flights, security landings or medical flights. At all other airports, flights to the destinations mentioned are likely to be cancelled. The rest of the traffic, especially in holiday areas, can take place.
Can relief flights take place in the earthquake area?
Verdi has made emergency service arrangements to secure flights to Turkey with relief supplies. In addition, important freight locations such as Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig and Frankfurt-Hahn will not be on strike. Freighters from Lufthansa Cargo and Turkish Airlines take off with relief supplies from the largest cargo hub in Frankfurt. According to the operator Fraport, planned passenger flights to Turkey can take off if they are declared by the companies as relief flights. In any case, it is impossible for passengers to board. The Stuttgart airport operator has stated that there will be no cargo flights on Friday either.
How are the guests of the Munich Security Conference affected?
They are affected and have to rebook if they wanted to arrive on a scheduled flight via Munich Airport on Friday. An airport spokesman said private flights related to the conference would be accepted. Government flights are also covered by the emergency service agreement with Verdi. More than 50 private flights to the security conference are expected on Friday.
What can affected passengers do?
This varies depending on the goal and time. For short distances, Deutsche Bahn is an alternative, which according to its own statements expects a high number of passengers. For longer distances, you must rebook with the airline. Connections from other cities are only available to a limited extent, as the seven airports affected account for almost two-thirds of German passenger traffic. With Frankfurt and Munich, the two largest hubs with a particularly large number of destinations will also be closed. Like other companies, the Lufthansa Group is planning normal operations again on Saturday.