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German Security Worker Strikes Cause Aviation Disruptions

German aviation security officers walked off the job at several airports in a dispute over wage disputes this week, wreaking havoc on air travel in the country.

The trade union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) called on its security staff to take a “day of strike action,” which it describes as a warning strike after three rounds of collective bargaining meetings had not yielded significant movement from the union’s perspective.

On Monday, 14 March, the strikes affected airports in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Leipzig/Halle, and Bremen. Today, 15 March, the strikes are affecting air hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden.

United Press International reported that flight data from showed 35 percent of flights from Dusseldorf, 25 percent of flights in Cologne, and 22 percent of flights in Berlin were canceled.

Today’s expected disruption led officials at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s largest and busiest airport, to cancel all flights originating at the airport. Arriving and ongoing flights would continue, however, with security closed, no passengers would depart Frankfurt today. As of press time, was showing that 57 flights, or 37 percent, out of the Frankfurt airport had been canceled. The other cities in today’s strike list also reported major cancellations: 36 percent at Hamburg and 22 percent at Stuttgart.

The union listed its grievances on its website (using Google translate): “The aviation security forces in ver.di are demanding a wage increase of at least one euro per hour for a period of twelve months. In addition, wages for aviation security staff responsible for freight and people/goods inspections with official inspection are to be raised to the level of wages for air security assistants (passenger inspection) based on the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.”

The Federal Aviation Security Association of Germany, the employers of the ver.di members on strike, have no apparent updates on the situation on their website.

The two sides are expected to meet for additional talks later this week.