German air passengers face more disruption as Lufthansa strike announced

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German national carrier Lufthansa is braced for further travel upheaval as the country’s powerful Verdi union called on ground crew to strike on Wednesday in a row over higher wages

Published: 25 July 2022 11:35 CEST

Members of the Ver.di trade union stand with flags and banners during an all-day warning strike in Stuttgart airport in March. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd Weißbrod

On top of the chaos that’s been plaguing German airports all summer, thanks to post-Covid staff shortages and spikes in passenger numbers, travellers in Germany will now also face strike disruption. 

Trade Union Verdi has called on 20,000 ground staff employees – including technicians and logistics managers  – to take part in a one-day ‘warning strike’ on Wednesday, July 27th.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How long will the flight chaos in Germany?

Ground staff will stop working at 1:45am on Wednesday and not resume until 6am on Thursday. As a result, Lufthansa passengers will have to prepare for “major flight cancellations and delays”, Verdi warned on Monday.

The background to the strike is the ongoing collective bargaining for employees at Lufthansa. Verdi is demanding a 9.5 percent wage increase, or at least €350 per month, as well as a minimum hourly wage of €13 for Lufthansa employees.

Vice chairwoman of Verdi and lead negotiator in the talks, Christine Behle, said that, in view of work overloads, high inflation and wage cuts over the last three years, the demand for wage increases is justified.

READ ALSO: German airport disruption expected to last ‘until October’

The union said that the management’s offer so far “does not come close to compensating for inflation” which stood at 7.6 percent in Germany last month.

Lufthansa ground staff “urgently need more money and they need relief, for themselves and for the passengers”, Behle said.

Behle asked passengers in Germany for understanding and pointed out the extremely difficult situation Lufthansa employees are currently facing, which, she claims, has mainly been caused by mismanagement.

She said that Verdi was announcing the strike in advance to give passengers a chance to prepare for it and to possibly make other arrangements.

There is currently a shortage of more than 7,000 employees in Germany’s aviation sector, the IW economic institute recently calculated.

With reporting by AFP