Verdi continues its strikes at airports and wants to largely paralyze Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart airports on Friday. The aviation security workforce, which controls passengers, personnel, goods and cargo, as well as public sector workers are called to an all-day warning strike, the union said on Wednesday. Due to shift work, the strike in Cologne/Bonn begins in the night from Thursday to Friday and ends in some areas in the early morning hours on Saturday. Passengers would have to expect delays, waiting times and flight cancellations.
At Düsseldorf Airport, many of the originally planned 368 take-offs and landings are expected to be cancelled, the airport said. According to an emergency service agreement with the trade unions, an emergency operation would be maintained. According to an airport spokesman, only a few relief goods and ambulance flights will be handled. Together with the airline partners, a significantly reduced flight schedule for the strike day will be developed.
In Stuttgart, only security landings, medical flights and military flights could be carried out, the airport said. On Friday, 169 regular flight movements were planned, affecting around 20,000 passengers from the warning strike. The airport recommended checking with the airline and not coming to the airport.
"With the strikes, the workers are putting pressure on the employers, because in the negotiations so far neither in the public sector nor in the aviation security sector an acceptable offer has been made," said Andrea Becker, Verdi regional department head in North Rhine-Westphalia. On Monday, the union had already largely paralyzed flight operations at the northern German airports of Berlin, Hanover, Hamburg and Bremen. The Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) had described the industrial action as harmful to the progress of the negotiations.
Lufthansa complains about locational disadvantage
Verdi has already gone on strike at airports several times in the ongoing wage dispute. In view of the almost standstill of flight operations as a result, air traffic managers are calling for emergency service agreements for airports. It is questionable whether critical infrastructure such as airports could be paralyzed for a whole day, said the head of the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, Stefan Schulte. "This discussion needs to be conducted." He is also President of the Airport Association ADV. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr recently warned that the strikes were beginning to become "a real locational disadvantage for the German hubs." As is customary in other countries, agreements on emergency services and notice periods for work stoppages would be useful.
Emergency service agreements are already common practice, even at airports, as it was called by Munich Airport and Verdi. "This is part of the law on industrial action," said Wolfgang Pieper, who is responsible for nationwide negotiations on aviation security at Verdi. As a rule, however, only a small number of flights are exempt from the strike. In Munich, in addition to some relief flights to Turkey due to the earthquake, around 17 flights were handled in connection with the Munich Security Conference during the warning strike on February 50, an airport spokesman said. The latter had been settled without consultation with the union, as there had been enough staff who did not take part in the industrial action.