At German airports there is currently a lack of ground handling staff, the unions are now negotiating higher salaries with handling companies - and all without a strike. This could be a sign of the pending negotiations with Lufthansa.
The service union Verdi has agreed with ground handling companies at several airports on "very good" collective wage agreements. Verdi announced that the more than 6,000 employees would receive up to 26 percent more wages.
The union is negotiating with Lufthansa in the third round starting Wednesday about more money for the around 20,000 ground workers. Verdi had put pressure on last week with a 26-hour strike by ground staff at Lufthansa. The airline had to cancel more than a thousand flights, affecting more than 130,000 passengers. For the approximately 20,000 Lufthansa employees on the ground, Verdi is demanding 9.5 percent more wages for a period of twelve months.
Verdi has now announced that wage increases, for example for the employees of the passenger handling company Aviation Handling Services, have been agreed without any strikes in the past few weeks. The company works at the airports in Düsseldorf, Hanover and Cologne/Bonn. According to Verdi, employees will receive between 17 and 26 percent more wages within the next six months.
At the ground handling service provider Aviapartner in Düsseldorf and Hanover, salaries will be increased by 300 euros from Monday. At the largest German airport in Frankfurt am Main, Fraground employees will receive up to 14 percent more retrospectively from July 1st as well as financial recognition of 700 euros for the current burden in air traffic. Verdi recently achieved wage increases of up to 18 percent for the staff of Stuttgart Ground Services and the Düsseldorf-based handling company Acciona.
At the German airports there is currently a lack of staff for ground handling and security checks, according to the German Economic Institute there is a shortage of around 7,200 skilled workers. This means long waiting times for passengers. Unions have criticized the working conditions and what they say is poor pay for ground staff.