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Frankfurt Airport braces for strike havoc

January 11, 2019

With security staff at Frankfurt Airport set to go on strike, Germany's biggest air traffic hub has urged the passengers to stay away during the disruption. The move follows smaller strikes at other German airports.

A distorted image of a plane landing on Frankfurt Airport
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Roessler

Passengers flying to and from Frankfurt Airport will face a major disruption next Tuesday due to a warning strike, the airport officials said on Friday.

Travelers "will not be able to reach flights during the strike period" which is scheduled to start at 2 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. local time (0100 – 1900 GMT) on January 15, they added.

Germany's largest trade union, Verdi, called its members among the airports' security staff to stage an 18-hour walkout at Germany's largest airport, after smaller-scale strikes were staged in Berlin, Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart airports earlier this week.

Following the announcement, Frankfurt Airport urged passengers not to come to the hub during the walkout, and to check with their airlines for more information. The scope of the strike was not immediately clear but a spokesman warned it would have "a massive impact on tens of thousands of travelers."

Germany's flagship airline Lufthansa offered its passengers the possibility to rebook their flights out of Frankfurt for any other date between the January 11-20. The company also said it would publish a list of the canceled flights by Sunday afternoon.

Pushing for more money

This week's strikes in Berlin and other German cities canceled over 1,000 flights and affected an estimated 110,000 travelers.

The disruptions were prompted by a wage dispute between the Verdi union and the airport security companies represented by the BDLS association. Currently, the airport security workers in Germany make between €11.30 and €17.16 ($13.06 and $19.67), depending on their responsibility and the region of the country.

Read more: Heavy snowfall cancels flights at Munich Airport

However, Verdi is demanding an across the board minimum wage of €20 per hour. On Friday, the union said that BDLS failed to provide a "negotiable offer" after the previous strikes.

"We would absolutely not exclude that more airports will be affected by the strike" on Tuesday, they added.

Wage talks are set to continue on January 23.

dj/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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