Airline passengers in Germany are bracing for flight chaos on Tuesday with strikes planned at eight hubs. Airport security workers are demanding better pay, with a large east-west pay gap still prevalent.
Hundreds of flights going in and out of Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday have already been canceled, airlines said Monday ahead of a security workers' strike. Airport operator Fraport said 470 of 1,200 planned flights have been scrapped ahead of the planned walkout.
The DBB and Verdi trade unions have announced a walkout from 2 am to 8 pm local time (01:00 - 19:00 UTC) at eight German airports, including Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig, and Hanover in addition to Frankfurt, which is Germany's largest and busiest air hub.
Both unions are seeking pay rises for workers not only in security, but also in passenger relations, customs, freight and human resources. The workers are demanding €20 ($22) an hour pay. Currently, airport security workers in Germany make between €11.30 and €17.16.
Smaller employee walkouts have already been carried out in Berlin, Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart.
"Employers should be able to react to this warning signal," Verdi spokesman Ute Kittel said. "But since they have, for reasons impossible to understand, not shown any willingness to talk or present a better deal, an expansion of the strike is necessary."
Discrepancies between east and west
If the strike does not sway management, renewed strikes are set for January 23 and 24..
Verdi officials have highlighted the pay discrepancies between eastern and western Germany. "Security in the east is not worth anything less," than in the west, Kittel told public broadcaster ZDF, adding that a postal code should not determine an employee's worth.
es/rt (dpa, AFP)