Reader question: Will German airports see more strikes at Easter?

The Local
The Local - [email protected]
Reader question: Will German airports see more strikes at Easter?
Departure board shows several flights cancelled at Hamburg airport on Tuesday March 22nd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Bockwoldt

Security staff at several of Germany's airports have staged a number of walkouts amid a dispute over pay and conditions with their employer. Will trade union Verdi call more strikes?


Several full days of strike action have been held in the last weeks, effectively bringing air travel in some parts of Germany - including Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin - to a standstill.

The strikes grounded hundreds of flights on each day of action, affecting tens of thousands of travellers. 

Some readers have reached out to us to ask if more strikes are planned, particularly around Easter in mid-April when many people are planning trips or are welcoming visitors.

READ ALSO: Eight German airports hit by security staff strikes


We approached trade union Verdi, which represents the affected workers, last week and a spokesman told us that talks were ongoing and he could not say if more strikes were planned.

But there's good news: on Monday this week, Verdi said that a collective agreement between airport security staff and employers had been reached. 

It means that the threat of more strikes has been averted.

The news will come as a big relief to people who are planning to travel in or out of Germany in the coming weeks. 

The breakthrough came in the sixth round of negotiations, after talks broke down again on Friday.

The Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) confirmed the agreement on Monday. 


Three-stage pay rise

The union Verdi has been negotiating with the employers’ association on wage increases for 25,000 security staff nationwide, among other issues.

According to Verdi, a three-step wage increase was agreed for a period of 24 months, with different amounts for the individual wage groups.

Verdi said the pay increase for the current year will be between 4.4 and 7.8 percent. The further steps depend on the wage group and the region, among other points. The adjustment of wages between east and west is to be completed by January 1st, 2024.

"The employers have finally presented an acceptable offer," Verdi negotiator Wolfgang Pieper said on Monday.

"This collective agreement succeeds in making wage conditions in the aviation security industry and work more attractive despite unfavourable working hours and numerous operational problems."

BDLS negotiator Rainer Friebertshäuser said wage increases in some cases would be up to 28.2 percent.

But Friebertshäuser said the agreed package "means massive cost increases for the employers, which are a particular burden in the current economic situation of the sector and hurt a lot".

Verdi had originally demanded an increase of at least one euro in the hourly wage for the approximately 25,000 employees over a period of only twelve months. In addition, there were to be nationwide adjustments at the highest regional level from Baden-Württemberg as well as standardised wage groups. The employers had recently proposed increases in four stages over a longer period.

"The large participation in the warning strikes in recent weeks has strengthened us in the negotiations and made it clear to the employers that they had to take a real step towards the workers (in negotiations)," said Verdi.

Germany has a strong trade union tradition and strikes can often be called during collective agreement negotiations across industries. 

READ ALSO: Should I join a union in Germany?


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also