• Germany's news in English

Ground workers strike at Berlin's Tegel airport

The Local · 2 Mar 2012, 09:12

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

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

DAPD/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

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

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?


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


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.
Today's headlines
Dad who auctioned baby on eBay restricted from seeing child
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd