Nearly 640 flights have been canceled due to strikes in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. A major trade union is seeking a blanket minimum wage of 20 euros per hour for security staff at all hubs.
Airport security personnel went on strike for the second time this week, this time affecting airports in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.
The strike at Stuttgart airport began at 3:00 a.m. local time (2:00 UTC) on Thursday while the strikes at the Cologne/Bonn and Dusseldorf airports began at midnight. Munich was also hit by minor strikes. In Dusseldorf, 370 of 580 departures were canceled at Germany's third-largest airport.
In all, more than half of the 1,050 flights from Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart were canceled. The airport association ADV had expected at least 110,000 travelers to be affected. Stuttgart Airport urged would-be passengers to arrive early due to "long waiting times."
Verdi, Germany's largest trade union, announced the strike on Wednesday. The union is currently in a wage dispute with the BDLS, an organization representing Germany's airport security companies.
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On Monday, security workers carried out a four-hour strike at Berlin's Tegel and Schönefeld airports, causing around 80 flights to be delayed.
Verdi has demanded an hourly wage increase to €20 ($22.79) for security staff checking passengers, freight, goods and other airport employees. The BDLS has rejected this as too high. Wages vary by airport and by precise role, the flat rate would represent unusually high increases for some. Both sides are expected to continue negotiations on January 23.
Verdi has warned that a breakdown in negotiations could lead to more strikes at German airports.
dv/msh (AFP, dpa)