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Ground workers strike at Berlin's Tegel airport

Published: 02 Mar 2012 09:12 GMT+01:00

The public union, ver.di, called on the 1,500 ground workers at GlobeGround to stop working from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m in a push for a four percent pay increase.

About 200 early shift workers, accounting for about two-thirds of the shift's ground worker personnel, walked off the job - a turnout Strike leader and ver.di negotiator Jens Gröger said the union was pleased with.

Of the 700 planes coming into and out of the airport, 30 had to be canceled, an airport spokesman told The Local. Domestic flights were mainly affected, he said.

The so-called 'warning strike' was announced just 15 minutes before it happened, so that airport management could not round up replacement workers in time.

Gröger said the strike's purpose was not to incapacitate air traffic, but to send a warning signal to management of what is to come if they don't compromise with the union.

Disruption on a larger scale has been ongoing in Frankfurt, where ground workers are fighting for a considerable pay increase and improved working conditions.

The Schönefeld Airport in the eastern part of the city is not affected.

DAPD/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:13 March 2, 2012 by Doughnut
From my experience of the ground staff at Tegel, if they stopped working, it would be quite hard to tell the difference
10:44 March 2, 2012 by Shiny Flu
@Doughnut: lol & too true.

The plane is 20m away, you arrive in the terminal and the baggage collection belt is 2 m from you... yet it takes 45min before you can walk out the door.
11:32 March 2, 2012 by wood artist
I've never been particularly impressed with threats. Don't want to work? Fine. Go home...and we'll find someone who actually wants the job.

Probably a good thing I'm not flying into FRA today. I'm afraid I might not be terribly cordial should I come across a picket.

wa
12:07 March 2, 2012 by dxlman
These fools don't realise that increasing their wages by 4% will increase the cost of travel, and the same goes for the fools at FRA who want in even bigger increase.

I would love to have an increase of 10%, but what goes around, comes around.

And wood artist has the right idea, if you don't want the job, someone else does!
13:41 March 2, 2012 by Eastard
While the workers surely have the right to disagree on what they are paid... the company should be able to replace them and maker employment notes on their refusal to work affecting the business. When a person seeks employment they accept what they are offered or work elsewhere... The right to work elsewhere is always there... Somehow in our concepts if unions we have developed the belief that demanding/striking is profitable... If I had a vote it would be to give those not attending their duties at work... notice that they will be replaced for performance reasons... not working at work is not allowed...
15:37 March 2, 2012 by catjones
If tourists are smart, they'd land outside of DL this year. Given the rail strikes as well, stay out of DL all together. Why take the chance of having your holiday ruined?
18:16 March 2, 2012 by William Thirteen
I support the strike - and I am flying into TXL today. Frankly, it has nothing to do with "not wanting to work" as some commenters seem to think. It is about demanding compensation appropriate to the work being done. Obviously, there is disagreement between the management & the workers as to what constitutes 'appropriate'. Hence the controversy. I suspect many of the anti-labor commenters hale from the States, where unions were long ago destroyed so Mitt Romney and his ilk can get richer from restructuring struggling companies, while the affected workers get to hit the streets in search of lower paying jobs....
20:09 March 2, 2012 by Englishted
@dxlman

By your logic if they have their pay cut then travel will be cheaper, oh yeah.

4% is not excessive all of the costs are going up but as with so many comments

on here people only want to keep the poor poor while allowing the rich to get away with anything.

The proper way is as Audi have done and shared some of it's profits with the workers who help make that profit .

To much stick and no carrot is the new creed and it is wrong.
03:24 March 3, 2012 by Yah right
@ woodartist

please tell us your salary and when was the last time you had an increase. I believe that these people actually want their jobs. To want a job does not mean that you go without while the CEO makes over $4 million yearly. GREEDY capitalist pigs try to screw workers at every turn in the road. Tell us what is your situation that salary increases are not a concern for you, AND that you speak with such condesention about those who need/ want an increase in their pay?

@dximan

does your salary not also increase the cost of the products of your efforts? It is all too obvious to me that you only care whether other people cost you money, but not whether you cost others money. STUPID

@Eastard

Your ideas just don't fly. We all see how the American, and now theChinese workers have been SCREWED by people with your ideas. Yes, let us all fight like hungry animals at the dead carcass, just so that families can be fed, children educated, and elders cared for. CAPITALISM is CORRUPT, and you will soon realize the cost of unchecked capitalism

@William Thirteen

Bravo for your comments. You, at least, understand that the likes of Mitt Romney RAPE the worker, taking what is theirs, and believing that doing harm is your entitlement, if you are the CEO.

America is in trouble because of the unchecked greed of its corporate elite. Let us all watch now how the American people respond to this with their votes.
16:07 March 3, 2012 by graham b
My flight from Bristol,England to Berlin Schoenefeld was cancelled at the last minute resulting in a two hour drive home.The visit to Berlin was to see our five week old grand-daughter for the first time.How disappointing!Many people were stranded at the airport with no alternative flight.

Do these airport workers realise,or even care of the misery they inflict?

I used to have great respect for the German people whom I would never have thought would catch what used to be called "the English disease" of striking.

No more.People of whatever nationality who treat their fellow human beings in this way are dispicable.

May they rot in hell!
19:52 March 3, 2012 by Englishted
@graham b

Two hour drive home = May they rot in hell!

Dear me christian tolerance ,hanging is too good for them ,in fact you are correct death to all strikers ,burn them at the stake.

strange chap.
16:24 March 4, 2012 by Al uk
graham b = idiot!
17:45 March 4, 2012 by michelle32
My bf flying in march 6, Berlin Tegel to abu dhabi and going to philippines,,i wish and i hope is everything okey tommorow.
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