Operations at both Frankfurt and Munich Airport in Germany are to grind to a near-complete halt on Friday after the powerful Ver.di trade union called a one-day ‘warning strike’ in a continuing dispute over post-pandemic wage rises that are set against inflationary pressures across Europe.
Munich Airport has warned that its normal flight programme will be completely suspended on Friday, while Frankfurt warned passengers that operations would be “heavily disrupted” throughout the course of the day.
Despite the fact its own workers aren’t involved in the dispute, German flag carrier Lufthansa, which has hubs in both Frankfurt and Munich, is set to be the most heavily impacted airline from the walkout.
The airline has already started cancelling flights en masse and it couldn’t come at a worse time for passengers, many of whom were already caught up in the fallout from a major IT outage that grounded Lufthansa Group flights on Wednesday.
Announcing the warning strike, Ver.di chairman Christine Behle said his members “need significantly more money to make a living.”
“Employers must understand this and react accordingly,” Behle said on Wednesday. “They must reward the good work of the employees and relieve them of the immense financial pressure.”
Workers in a wide variety of airport job roles are expected to go on strike on Friday, including security personnel, baggage handlers, tug drivers, check-in agents and engineers.
Behle said deliveries to Turkey and Syria were excluded from the strike, and many aid deliveries were already being diverted through Mainz.
The strike will begin will start at just after midnight on Friday, 17 January and will stretch all the way through to Saturday morning.
Jost Lammers, chief executive of Munich Airport, has slammed the strikers and claims the union is “completely overstepping the mark and is carrying out the wage dispute on the backs of passengers”.
“The wage dispute must be resolved at the negotiating table and not in the terminals at the expense of passengers,” Lammers commented shortly after Munich Airport announced the complete suspension of normal operations on Friday.
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.