The industrial action has resulted in widespread disruption.

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa Airbus A319
Photo: Fraport AG

Ongoing labor disputes have led to further strike action in Germany, which commenced just after midnight local time today. As part of coordinated action between two unions, employees across the transport industry are staging a 24-hour walkout. Aviation is among the sectors impacted, and faces significant disruption.

Further delays and disruption

As employees deal with the rising cost of living, multiple instances of strike action have been seen at airports across Europe in recent months. However, while, in some cases, this has merely delayed flights, today’s action has resulted in blanket cancelations in order to mitigate against disruption. Frankfurt Airport states:

“Due to a strike by the German Union ver.di, airport operations will be heavily disrupted at Frankfurt Airport throughout today. There will be no regular passenger flights. Passengers are requested to contact their airline and refrain from traveling to the airport. Transfer traffic will also be affected.”

Frankfurt Airport Aerial View

Photo: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

A quick look at data made available by FlightAware confirms the extent of the disruption. At the time of writing this morning, the three airports with the largest numbers of canceled departures were all located in Germany. The airports in question were Frankfurt (FRA), Düsseldorf (DUS), and Munich, which serve as some of the country’s largest and most important hubs for passenger air travel.

Why is the strike taking place?

According to the BBC, the unions involved in the strike are hoping that it will serve as a warning to employers in the run-up to the next round of negotiations concerning their members’ pay. Given the rising cost of living, Ver.di wants this to be reflected in a 10.5% pay rise for its public sector members, among whom are the striking airport security workers. Ver.di representative Wolfgang Pieper explained:

“Employers have it in their hands to keep the skilled workers employed, and to attract new ones with more attractive conditions. We call on the BDLS to submit a negotiable offer in a timely manner in order to avoid disruptions to Easter travel.”

Lufthansa Airbus A320neo Munich Airport

Photo: Munich Airport

The walkout appears to be impacting Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich Airport most severely, with the latter advising “there will be no regular passenger traffic at Munich Airport due to all-day strikes.” Other impacted airports include Bremen, Dortmund, Dresden, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne/Bonn, Leipzig/Halle, and Stuttgart.

Not just aviation

Given the international nature of aviation, this is arguably the sector in which the strike’s impacts are being felt furthest afield. Lufthansa is advising passengers with canceled domestic flights to rebook onto trains via a dedicated portal, explaining that “if you get a rail ticket in exchange on Sunday or Monday, you have time to travel until April 4th.” However, even here, there is a certain catch.

Indeed, such rebookings cannot be made to travel on trains on the strike days themselves, as rail and bus employees are also on strike as part of the wider industrial actions. This is because, as the BBC explains, Ver.di has teamed up with EVG, which represents, among others, workers at national rail operator Deutsche Bahn. With this in mind, those involved will surely be hoping for a swift resolution.

Sources: BBC, FlightAware, Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa, Munich Airport, Ver,di


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