Ground staff at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will walk out on Wednesday, leading to the cancelation of hundreds of flights. Germany’s ver.di trade union has called on the airport’s ground handling and security workers, as well as those employed by the airport company itself, to strike in a dispute over pay.
The strike will run from 03:30 to 23:59 on January 25th, during which time over 300 flights are scheduled to take off or land at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. As a result of the industrial action, all flights are expected to be canceled, with around 35,000 passengers impacted. A spokesperson for the airport said,
“In this situation, the airport company must assume that no regular passenger flights can take place at BER on this day and has informed all partners at the airport about the announced warning strike in this sense.”
Photo: Jiaye Liu | Shutterstock
Ongoing pay negotiations
ver.di has said that it expects many workers to take part in the planned industrial action. As part of the ongoing pay negotiations, the trade union is demanding €500 extra per month for ground handling and airport company employees, but this is significantly higher than employers are currently willing to offer. Working conditions of aviation security employees, meanwhile, are being negotiated at a national level, with ver.di asking for increased bonuses for night and weekend shifts.
The strike action was announced on Twitter earlier today by ver.di:
A strong recovery in Berlin
Berlin Brandenburg Airport opened in October 2020, a staggering nine years behind schedule. It replaced the city’s previous three gateways of Templehof, Schöenefeld, and Tegel.
Photo: Real_life_photo | Shutterstock
Despite opening at the height of the pandemic, signs of a strong travel recovery have been seen over recent months. In 2022, the airport saw 19.85 million passengers, up from just 9.95 million in 2021. This summer, the Lufthansa Group’s leisure carrier, Eurowings, will significantly expand its operation at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, adding 13 new routes to its network, including Alicante (ALC), Málaga (AGP), and Larnaca (LCA).
The airport’s chief executive officer, Aletta von Massenbach, celebrated the positive news, saying,
“Double the passenger numbers compared to the previous year shows that BER is being well-received. People from the region were pleased to have more opportunities to fly on holiday last year. At the same time, tourism to the capital region has also gathered pace again. Together with our partners at BER, we were prepared for the rapid increase in passenger traffic and responded by opening Terminal Two and offering more digital and automated services. The positive feedback from our guests encourages us to continue on this path in 2023.”
Photo: kbp.spotter | Shutterstock
Wednesday’s strike will inevitably cause large-scale disruption at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, with thousands of passengers having their travel plans disrupted. It remains to be seen if last-minute negotiations between ver.di and the airport employers can lead to the industrial action being called off.
Will you be affected by Wednesday’s strike action at Berlin Brandenburg Airport? Has previous industrial action in recent months affected your travel plans? Share your experiences by commenting below.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Aletta von Massenbach
- Passenger Count :
- 9,947,006 (2021)
- Runways :
- 07L/25R – 3,600m (11,811ft) |07R/25L – 4,000m (13,123ft)
- Terminal 1 |Terminal 2 |Terminal 5