Strike at airports not comprehensible

February 16, 2023

Once again, ver.di has called for strikes at seven German airports. In addition to aviation security workers, public service and ground handling workers are also on strike.
“Ver.di is making common cause with several other trades and so for outsiders the aims and boundaries of the strike are blurred. This is being exploited deliberately,” said Rainer Friebertshäuser, head of the BDLS bargaining commission. This is because the aviation security workers are not striking to achieve higher wages; they have already received wage increases on 1 January 2023 and there will be a further increase on 1 April 2023. With total wage increases of up to 28.2 per cent, the 2022 settlement was far higher than in other sectors, even though the airline industry had not yet fully recovered from the pandemic. Passenger control workers will receive an hourly wage of €20.60 from 1 April 2023. The current negotiations are only about time bonuses and executive bonuses, so it is more of a side issue.
“The statement in ver.di publications that we have not shown any movement on the issues is also wrong. We have shown possible solutions in the negotiations,” says Friebertshäuser. Moreover, the BDLS has not refused any further negotiation dates and, on the contrary, has openly spoken out in favour of a continuation. In addition, the strike is absolutely untimely. From a humanitarian point of view, the union should have refrained from a strike. Urgently needed relief supplies and people who want to provide aid cannot be brought to the earthquake zones, as there will be hardly any air traffic at these proportions of the strike. “This is catastrophic from a human point of view and also no longer a warning strike,” Friebertshäuser concluded.

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