BERLIN: Security staff at 11 German airports, including the global hub Frankfurt, walked off the job on Thursday to press for higher pay, grounding flights and inflicting more pain on Europe’s largest economy.
The 24-hour strike, called by labour union Verdi, is the latest in a series of industrial actions that have plagued the country’s transportation sector in recent weeks. The union said it was demanding a pay rise of 2.80 euros ($3.04) per hour and more generous overtime on behalf of 25,000 workers.
Almost 200,000 travellers will be affected by more than 1,100 flight cancellations or delays, the German airports association ADV said on Wednesday.
Some of Germany’s biggest airports including Berlin and Hamburg said no passengers at all would be able to take a flight. Disruption was set to continue in Hamburg where Verdi called on ground service staff to strike from 3am (0200 GMT) on Friday until midnight.
The union said it represented 9,000 employees at that airport and was demanding higher paychecks and a one-time payment of 3,000 euros to adjust for inflation. Passenger Ernst Henzl said he had planned to fly to Barcelona, but ended up stranded in Frankfurt airport’s entrance hall.
“The ones who can strike, do it and they all do it just for themselves. There should be another solution. It can’t go on like this,” he said.