At the suggestion from German trade union Verdi, part of the Lufthansa ground staff will go on strike this Wednesday, a spokesperson for the union announced. The action will take place all day long and is meant to be a ‘warning strike’. Travellers who pass through the Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin or Düsseldorf airports will likely feel the effects of the initiative.
“As all ground workers from maintenance to passenger and aircraft handling will be called out on warning strike, there will probably be major flight cancellations and delays”, Verdi declared in a statement early Monday morning.
The strike will go into effect ealy Wednesday morning, at 4 am, and should last until 7:10 am on Thursday morning. How many flights exactly will be delayed or cancelled isn’t clear just yet but a spokesperson for Lufthansa said the airline is currently looking at an emergency timetable for the 3,000 daily flights that might be impacted.
Passengers travelling on 7 or 8 February are asked check the status of their flight as of Monday afternoon onwards. Rebooking options are available and for flights cancelled on short notice without viable flight alternatives, Lufthansa usually offers a Deutsche Bahn train conenction free of charge.
Verdi is asking for a wage increase of 12.5% for 25,000 workers (about 500 euros a month), plus a one-time payment of 3,000 euros to offset inflation, according to Reuters. Lufthansa already criticised Verdi’s decision to call for a strike, as they consider that “a strike of this length and extent before negotiations even begin is incomprehensible”. However, Lufthansa’s earlier pay raise proposal has been rejected by the trade union for being too low.
Recently, Germany’s transport sector has seen a surge in strikes and other social actions as workers are demanding a pay raise. Just last week, security staff grounded hundreds of flights throughout Germany.