Friday, February 21, 2014

Germany: Strike By Security Staff at Frankfurt Airport Strands Thousands of Passengers

According to ReutersA strike by security staff at Frankfurt Airport caused flight cancellations and delayed thousands of passengers, bringing chaos to Europe's third largest aviation hub on Friday (February 21), the busiest day of the week for travelers.

Trade union, Verdi, called on around 5,000 people who check passengers, baggage and freight at the airport to strike for the entire day to push for their pay to be brought into line with that of staff at other German airports.
Hoards of passengers jostling to get to the head of check-in lines and service desks filled the airport, which usually handles 150,000 passengers on a typical Friday.
COMMENT: Just before lunchtime, the airport closed access to queues. Passengers booed striking staff as they walked through the terminal blowing whistles and waving placards bearing the words: "We're worth it.
"Verdi said more than 90% of security staff due to work on Friday were joining the strike. View gallery
The strike was called after four rounds of pay talks between Verdi and employers' association BDSW, which represents around 185,000 security staff who work for private companies, ended without agreement. The next round of talks is scheduled for March 5.
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"We just can't pay it," BDSW managing director Harald Olschok told reporters. "Our margins are between 3-5%, so if you want pay increases like this it will have to be passed on to customers and that will make it more expensive for everyone to fly."