Tourism & hospitality

Strike surge: are ground staff undervalued?

Travellers in Germany saw hundreds of flights cancelled this March, as security staff at several airports took part in three days of walkouts. Abi Millar explores the matter, asking whether ground staff are undervalued in the wake of the pandemic.

In mid-March, security staff went on strike across several airports in Germany, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations. The strikes, organised by trade union ver.di, came as part of a wage dispute involving some 25,000 employees. Among other demands, they were calling on employers to raise wages for security staff by at least €1 an hour.

The strikes began on 14 March, when about 1,350 security staff staged a walkout. Air traffic was disrupted in Hannover, Leipzig, Berlin, Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, and Munich airports.

The following day, the walkouts were extended to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. At Frankfurt, which had been expecting 770 flights that day, security checkpoints remained closed outside the transit area, and only passengers with layovers were able to progress boarding.

“We expect that transfer processes for connecting passengers in the transit area will still largely be possible. Nevertheless, also transfer passengers should expect disruptions and delays due to the strike,” tweeted the airport operator, Fraport.

Read the rest of this article in the June 2022 edition of Airport Industry Review

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