German cargo operations set to be hit by airport strikes on Friday
16 / 02 / 2023
Airport workers at major hubs in Germany are this Friday (February 17) set to take part in a day-long strike over pay causing disruption to airline operations.
The strikes organised by the Ver.di union will start in the early hours of the morning and end Friday night at seven airports: Frankfurt Main, Munich Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dortmund, Hannover and Bremen.
The strikes include public sector workers and ground handlers.
Frankfurt Airport said that operations will be heavily disrupted throughout the day. Munich Airport said flights would be “massively disrupted”.
Lufthansa Cargo said that its services – already affected by an IT outage on Thursday – are currently under review and delays to shipments are expected.
“In addition to the aftermath of yesterday’s IT outage, the German trade union ver.di has called for a day-long strike at several German airports, starting on Friday morning,” the airline said.
“This will have a significant impact on the entire German air traffic and lead to cancellations and delays of flights.
“Lufthansa Cargo’s flight programme is under review and subject to the approval of Frankfurt airport with regard to agreements allowing a selected number of flights to take off and land.
“The loading process of shipments is expected to be delayed due to the lack of ground handling staff being on strike.”
The union said the strikes were in response to worker shortages that can only be fixed by making the sector more attractive through pay increases.
“There is still a catastrophic labour shortage among ground handling workers – travellers felt this clearly last summer,” the Ver.di union said.
“In order to change this situation, an attractive wage increase must take place for them.
“And aviation security employees are entitled to an increase in the surcharges in the collective wage agreements.
“Employers have so far refused to accept this legitimate demand. Inflation, high energy and food prices are driving most workers into an insecure situation.
“Many no longer know how to pay their rent and fill the fridge. They need significantly more money to make a living. Employers need to see that and react accordingly.”
Airport association ADV said that strikes would lead to around 2,340 flight cancellations in domestic and international air traffic.
“Industrial action aimed at shutting down seven airports for the whole day and thus affecting domestic German air traffic over a large area and a large number of international connections, go far beyond the scope of a warning strike and are completely inappropriate,” the association said.
Last year, Frankfurt Airport suffered from cargo bottlenecks as operations were affected by worker shortages.