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Cars and TransportationGermany

Germany: Flights delayed, canceled as security staff strikes

March 22, 2022

Eight international airports are affected, including Berlin and Düsseldorf. Frankfurt Airport has told passengers not to come to catch their flights, as there will be no way to reach them in time.

Deutschland | Streik am Hamburger Flughafen
Hamburg airport was empty due to striking security workersImage: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa/picture alliance

Security personnel went on strike at eight German airports on Tuesday amidst an ongoing battle over pay and working conditions. 

According to workers' union Verdi, stoppages were occurring at major international airports including Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn, and Düsseldorf. Security workers at Germany's largest and busiest airport, Frankfurt, were also going on strike.

Airports warned passengers to expect cancelations, delays, and a long wait to get through security checkpoints. Frankfurt Airport went so far as to tell passengers not to come to the airport at all, because there was no way they'd reach their flights without staff at security checkpoints.

The strikes were the second round of work stoppages in as many weeks.

Why are workers striking?

Cologne/Bonn airport announced that 50 of its 60 planned flights for the day would not take off. In Hamburg, 88 flights were nixed, alongside 100 in Berlin. In Frankfurt, at least 110 would have to be canceled, officials said.

Verdi is asking for at least one euro more an hour for workers. According to employers, this would adjust standardized pay scales such that it would amount to 40% more pay for many employees.

In all of Germany's federal states except Bavaria, the Federal Police delegate airport security to private contractors. Only in Bavaria do security personnel have expansive collective bargaining rights.

A further round of talks between the union and company managers was planned for Thursday.

es/wmr (dpa, Reuters)