Berlin, April 10 – Thousands of passengers at four German airports, including the biggest hub Frankfurt, were stranded on Tuesday as ground staff and other public sector workers staged walkouts across the country to increase the pressure in a pay dispute.
Lufthansa said on Monday it was cancelling more than 800 of its planned 1,600 flights on Tuesday and Frankfurt airport operator Fraport has warned of disruption.
Verdi, which is asking for a 6 percent pay rise for about 2.3 million employees in various public sector roles across Germany, said that ground staff and some fire services workers would be on strike on Tuesday at Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Bremen airports.
Frankfurt and Munich are the two biggest hubs for Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline. Lufthansa said that more than 800 of a planned 1,600 flights were cancelled for tomorrow.
A spokeswoman for Frankfurt airport operator Fraport said that security checkpoints are likely to have to close because of the strike. Lufthansa recommended that customers leave plenty of time to get through the airport.
Similar strikes four years ago led to hundreds of flight cancellations at Germany’s largest airport, particularly on short-haul flights.
Tuesday’s airport walkouts are part of four-day industrial action from April 10-13, with public transport, swimming pools, garbage collection and childcare facilities all facing disruption.
A third round of pay talks is scheduled for April 15-16.
“Employers have not yet put forward an offer. With strikes and industrial action, employees are increasing the pressure on employers to end their blocking tactics,” Verdi boss Frank Bsirske said in a statement.
“Lufthansa is not even a party in this pay dispute, yet it is mainly us and our customers who are most affected,” said Lufthansa’s head of human resourses Bettina Volkens.