Germany’s main services union called security workers at major airports to stage a one-day strike this week, threatening to bring chaos to flight traffic in Frankfurt and regional hubs.
Verdi, which represents 25,000 security staff, urged members to walk off the job on Feb. 1 after three rounds of wage talks failed to reach an agreement, according to a statement on Tuesday. It’s demanding €2.80 ($3.03) more pay per hour as well as higher overtime and other bonus payments over a 12-month period. Collective bargaining talks are set to resume in Berlin on Feb. 6.
It’s the latest in a wave of labor action that has hobbled transport for millions of travelers in Europe’s largest economy in recent weeks. German railways started rolling again late on Sunday, when train drivers broke off a six-day strike early, agreeing to return to the negotiating table. Verdi has also called local public transport workers in towns and cities in all federal states except Bavaria to strike on Feb. 2.
A shortage of skilled workers — coupled with high inflation — has emboldened employees across many industries in Germany to seek wage increases and preserve the flexibility and independence they gained during the pandemic.
“The work of aviation security staff must remain financially attractive so that the urgently needed skilled workers can be recruited and can be attracted and retained,” Verdi negotiator Wolfgang Pieper said in the statement. Food and energy inflation of the past two years as as well as predicted price increases in 2024 “must be offset and followed by real wage growth,” he said.
Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG declined to comment to Bloomberg on Verdi’s call for security staff to walk off the job.