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Lufthansa Ground Staff to Strike Over Low Pay at Seven German Airports

Lufthansa Ground Staff to Strike Over Low Pay at Seven German Airports

BY HADI AHMAD February 19, 2024 0 COMMENTS

A German trade union has called for a Lufthansa ground staff strike later this week. The strike will occur across seven German airports and is expected to disrupt flight operations significantly.

 

Photo: Michael Szczesniak | AeroXplorer

 

Demanding More Pay

 

Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, branded as Ver.di or simply Verdi, is a German trade union based in the capital city of Berlin. The union called on Lufthansa ground staff to stage a walkout at seven major German airports on February 20 and 21. Around 25,000 workers, including maintenance and airport staff, will participate in the strike.

 



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The strike will begin at 4:00 a.m. on February 20 and end at 7:10 a.m. local time on February 21. Airports in major German cities will be affected, including the following:

 

  • Frankfurt
  • Munich
  • Hamburg
  • Berlin
  • Düsseldorf
  • Cologne
  • Stuttgart

 

Photo: Daniel Mena | AeroXplorer

 

The exact airports that will be affected in these cities have yet to be specified, which is important since some cities have more than one commercial airport. However, it can be assumed that the busiest airports will be the locations of these nationwide strikes. In the case of Frankfurt, the strikes will most likely affect Frankfurt-Main Airport (FRA), the primary passenger hub. Frankfurt has another airport, Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN), mainly used for cargo operations and sees considerably less passenger traffic.

 

According to Verdi, the strike was due to the lack of progress made in working condition negotiations and low pay. The union stated that employees such as ground staff are "unable to break even" given Germany's staggering inflation in recent years. This comes despite jobs such as airline pilots getting rather attractive salaries. Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, called the strike "unfortunate". This is especially considering the airline had previously provided Verdi with an offer prior, which the union rejected.

 

Photo: Edwin Sims | AeroXplorer

 

Flight Disruptions

 

The massive scale of these worker demonstrations will affect flights across Germany. Verdi added that it does not want these disruptions to last for long as it wants "a quick result for employees and passengers." The union seeks pay rises of 12.5% and a minimum of €500 ($539) more each month. The next round of negotiations will occur on February 21, when the strikes are expected to end.

 



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Germany has seen a huge rise in strikes across not just transportation sectors but also civil service and supermarkets. These strikes come in light of the country being heavily affected by inflation from the pandemic. Workers across various industries have consistently demanded higher wages to cope with the increased cost of living.

 

Photo: Ben Kogan | AeroXplorer

 

Strikes at German airports have been a more common occurrence. Earlier this month, a strike caused 900 out of 1,000 flights to be canceled, affecting roughly 100,000 passengers. In September 2022, about 800 Lufthansa flights were canceled at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs due to a one-day strike by the airline's pilots protesting for better pay. Air France and several other European carriers have also seen pilots protest over salary issues.

 

Flight disruptions caused by this round of strikes will affect domestic and international flights since they involve airport employees. Therefore, any airline operating flights to Germany, including foreign carriers, can expect flight disruptions. Passengers can consult with airlines about whether their flight is canceled and how the airline can accommodate them, including through refunds or automatic rebooking. 

 



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Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

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