Berlin Airport canceled all its flights Wednesday after ground staff went on strike to press their demands for higher pay. The walk-out affected about 300 flights to and from the German capital. Labor union Verdi said its members are seeking a raise of 500 euros ($544) per month.
German news agency dpa reported that employers have offered staff a one-off payment of 2,000 euros. Germany experienced its highest annual inflation in more than 70 years last year. Sharp increases in the cost of food and energy saw full-year inflation reach 7.9% in 2022.
In March, last year, a strike was conducted by security staff at eight German airports — among them Frankfurt, a major intercontinental hub — led to widespread disruption and flight cancellations. The ver.di union called the all-day strike at Frankfurt, Germany’s busiest airport, as well as Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart, Duesseldorf and Cologne-Bonn, before a round of pay talks with employers. It followed walkouts at several airports.
At Frankfurt, 108 out of the day’s 790 planned flights had been cancelled, German news agency dpa reported. Passengers due to start their journeys at the airport were unable to board, though passengers could transfer flights.
All 88 planned departures from Hamburg were cancelled. Security checks at German airports were put under the supervision of federal police but largely conducted by private firms. Security officials in Bavaria were paid in line with a pay deal for public service employees and aren’t striking.