Ground crews at Berlin airports reach pay deal to end strikes

Ground crews at Berlin airports reach pay deal to end strikes
Striking workers at Berlin Schönefeld Airport. Photo: DPA
Ground crews at airports in Berlin have reached a pay deal with employers after repeated strikes that have grounded flights in recent weeks, the two sides said on Tuesday.

Around 2,000 workers at the city's Tegel and Schönefeld airports could see hourly wages increase by as much as 14 percent, or €1.90 after the deal.

Service workers' union Verdi “was able to achieve a vital goal” in the talks, chief negotiator Enrico Rümker said, highlighting improvements to non-wage conditions.

But the union also had to make “wide-ranging and painful compromises,” he added.

Employers had “gone to the limits of the achievable and … beyond” to strike the deal, said a spokesman for ground services companies in Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg state.

Nevertheless, it was important to the firms that the three-year no-strike deal provides “long-term certainty for planning,” he added.

Ground crew walked out several times in February and March, forcing the cancellation of some 2,000 flights to and from the capital, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

Union members must still vote on the deal, with a ballot planned for next week.