No flights, no subways, other means of transport with restrictions: traffic in the Rhine-Main area was hardest hit by the warning strikes. Other professions followed.
Frankfurt/Main (dpa/lhe) - Thousands of public sector employees stopped work on Friday. The focus of the warning strike was Frankfurt and the surrounding area. In addition to the airport, local public transport was particularly affected.
Rallies were held at the airport, in the tram depot and in front of the trade union building. "We estimate that 5,000 to 5,500 people are on their feet," said the managing director of the Verdi district in Frankfurt, Alexander Klein, in the morning of the dpa. The warning strike had formally started at midnight and was due to end at midnight. The participation was "okay" from the point of view of the union.
Most flights were canceled at the airport. Exceptions were cargo and relief goods for Turkey and Syria. "There are twelve flight movements in the plan for today," said a spokesman for the operator Fraport. Actually, 1005 flight movements were planned for Friday. Fraport spoke of 137,000 affected passengers. Only a few passengers showed up in the terminal in the morning - they had found out about the warning strike too late.
In addition to Frankfurt, almost all other airports in Germany were on strike. The airport association ADV spoke of an "unprecedented escalation". The timing was particularly bitter for Frankfurt: On Wednesday, an excavator severed a fiber optic cable, causing an IT malfunction that kept numerous machines on the ground. Lufthansa wants to leave the days of chaos behind as quickly as possible. "We will start regular operations again immediately on Saturday," announced a spokesman.
Subways and trams in Frankfurt have also been standing still since the morning. S-Bahn trains were supposed to run, but after a corpse was found, numerous lines were unplanned. In Wiesbaden, the ESWE Verkehr buses were on strike. According to its own statements, Deutsche Bahn recorded a “slightly increased” number of passengers in view of the warning strikes.
According to Verdi, there were also walkouts in the city administrations of Frankfurt and the surrounding districts, at the energy supplier Mainova, the city cleaning service FES, in daycare centers, old people's homes and a hospital in Offenbach.
Groups from numerous individual unions, such as the police union, the education and science union, garbage collectors from the FES and employees of the municipal theaters, took part in a march through the city center on Friday morning.
Verdi is demanding 10.5 percent more money, at least 500 euros, for the 2.5 million federal and municipal employees nationwide. In Hesse, 120,000 employees would benefit from this. The term should be twelve months. Collective bargaining will continue in Potsdam on February 22nd and 23rd. An offer from the employer has not yet been received. If there is no movement then, "we have to step it up a notch," said Klein.
"The demands of the employees are absolutely appropriate against the background of the high inflation in 2022 and foreseeable also in 2023," said Klein. "A strong wage increase, especially for the lower wage groups, is now necessary so that our members can still live reasonably well here in the Rhine-Main area."