Berlin Brandenburg International Airport will be effectively shut down on Wednesday as thousands of ground workers stage a one-day ‘warning strike’ in protest at stalled pay talks.
With so many workers expected to take part in the walkout, the airport’s operator has been forced to completely suspend flight operations on January 25. The airport said around 300 flights had been cancelled, with around 35,000 passengers stranded as a result of the strike.
Last-ditch talks to prevent the walkout failed on Monday night, prompting the airport to contact airlines so that flights could be cancelled with little more than a day’s notice.
The Ver.di trade union said it expected a “very large strike participation” in the strike action, with workers from ground transport services, airport company personnel and airport security all planning to take part in the walkout.
The demands of the workers vary between roles but in some cases, the union is demanding pay raises of €500 per month. A Ver.di spokesperson said counter-proposals from the employers had fallen “significantly short of the demands of the employees”.
Last year, German flag carrier Lufthansa was impacted by a warning strike that grounded nearly 1,000 flights and 134,000 passengers in a dispute over pay and conditions for its ground staff.
A separate strike by the airline’s pilots was averted at the last minute after the airline caved in to some of the union’s pay demands.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.