Strikes ground flights at German airports

STORY: Monday (February 27) saw fresh chaos for air travellers in Germany.

Hundreds of flights were grounded by strikes at Duesseldorf and Cologne Bonn airports.

The stoppage was called last week by the Verdi workers’ union.

It said there was no alternative after talks on pay for airport workers broke down.

On Monday, union secretary Ozay Tarim said there would soon be more negotiations:

“We will hold talks with the employers in March and our goal is of course to reach a deal. But if the employers continue to refuse to come up with a proposal, the workers’ reaction will be clear: we will respond with a strike which is not what we want but if the employers don’t cooperate, this will be the result.”

Tarim says the union is asking for extra pay on Sundays and public holidays, as airports are round-the-clock operations.

On Monday the Dusseldorf and Cologne hubs were largely deserted as passengers were informed in time to change their plans.

Major carriers at the airport include Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.

Earlier this year, unions brought flights to a standstill at seven German airports including Frankfurt and Munich.

The stoppages affected nearly 300,000 passengers.