Tens of thousands of passengers had to look around for travel alternatives on Thursday: warning strikes by the Verdi union largely brought air traffic to a standstill at Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Hamburg airports. The airport association ADV announced that around 45,200 passengers were directly affected on Thursday. On Friday, the walkout will be extended to Stuttgart. Anyone who wants to switch to the train will also need patience: The railway and transport union (EVG) has called for nationwide warning strikes in rail traffic for the morning and between 3 a.m. and 11 a.m.
However, the restrictions in long-distance and regional traffic should be felt throughout the day. Deutsche Bahn warned of "significant restrictions". Both unions had already completely paralyzed public transport in Germany with a joint 24-hour warning strike at the end of March. The EVG emphasized the day before that it was a coincidence that their warning strike actions are now coincident. Both would not have agreed.
In Düsseldorf, about half of the approximately 400 flight movements planned for Thursday were canceled, according to the airport. 28 flights were diverted to other airports. A similar picture is expected for Friday, a spokesman said. In Cologne/Bonn, 168 of the 204 planned flight movements did not take place over the course of the day, as a spokesman said. More than 20,000 travelers were affected by cancellations or diversions. Many passengers never even made it to the airport.
Hamburg Airport criticized the action
In Hamburg, too, the halls were empty. No departures were possible there because of the strike. A third of the arrivals were also canceled, as the airport announced. 305 flights with around 38,000 passengers were planned in the Hanseatic city on Thursday alone. The airport criticized the action: "The strike affects many bystanders who will hardly have any alternatives tomorrow due to the additional train strike." While work is stopped on both days in Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Hamburg, this is only the case in Stuttgart on Friday.
The employees in the aviation security area, in passenger control, personnel and goods control and in service areas are called upon. The background to this are negotiations between Verdi and the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies about surcharges for night, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday work as well as regulations on overtime pay for security and service staff. The Verdi union justified its call for a warning strike by saying that the negotiations had not led to a solution. They are scheduled to continue on April 27th and 28th.
The EVG, in turn, is currently in the second round of negotiations with around 50 companies in the railway industry. On Wednesday, talks with the train provider Transdev were interrupted without result. This is intended to strike all companies on Friday. Transdev tried to stop the warning strike with an injunction at the Frankfurt Labor Court on Thursday, but was unsuccessful. The court informed the German Press Agency that the applications were rejected.
Transdev criticized that the warning strike also affected subsidiaries that were not involved in the negotiations at all, "because the rail controllers (dispatch controllers) who sit in the signal boxes and work for Deutsche Bahn will go on strike".