• Germany's news in English

Berlin airport ground staff to strike next week

DDP/The Local · 22 May 2010, 09:36

Published: 22 May 2010 09:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Union officials warned that the action planned by the 1,750 or so workers who provide airport services including luggage handling at Tegel and Schönefeld, could result in delays and cancellations.

Negotiations for a joint agreement for those working for airport service provider Globeground Berlin (GGB) and Ground Service International (GSI) have failed, said Andreas Splanemann, spokesman for service union ver.di.

He said the roughly 450 workers employed by GSI deserved a fixed payment rate, while the worst paid should see their pay increase by as much as €150 a month. Many are paid so poorly that they claim Hartz IV social support to supplement their wages, he said.

Those at the bottom of the pay scale should see a pay rise of 3.8 percent said Splanemann, while those earning more have already been offered a wage rate guarantee.

Strikes would be announced between six and 24 hours in advance, he added.

Globeground has said it would work with airlines and the airport managers to try to keep the impact on passengers as minimal as possible.

The last such strike was in 2007, when a walk-out of several hours by around 300 ground staff resulted in delayed flights.

Those seeking to take a train instead will in the future have a more difficult time getting information and advice from Deutsche Bahn, as a report suggests plans are afoot to cut the number of staff at travel centres by more than 20 percent.

Saturday’s Westfalen-Blatt local newspaper reported that it had seen an internal planning paper from the Bahn which talks of reducing travel centre staff numbers – and making those who remain, work faster.

Story continues below…

The paper says that the travel staff would be reduced from the current number of 2,465 to 1,948, and that their current target of serving 80 percent of customers in less than 10 minutes would be increased to 85 percent.

A Bahn spokesman said that 7,000 new ticket machines were being installed around the country, but denied that the staff reduction plans were known or had been approved by the management.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:03 May 22, 2010 by William Thirteen
damn, i have to fly tuesday morning...
18:39 May 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
If the baggage handlers would strike in London I'd have a better chance of not having my bags lost every time I fly through Heathrow.
08:37 May 23, 2010 by ColoSlim
Redirect to Frankfurt and take a train and give those guys nothing except instructions.

Take bags off plane, put bags on plane, take bags off plane, put bags on plane.
Today's headlines
The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd