The working group of German commercial airports has severely criticized the recent warning strike called by the Verdi union. This takes place in Frankfurt, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hanover, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn and, according to the ADV, is carried out on the backs of the passengers.
In contrast to other European countries, security checks in Germany are not usually organized by the airports themselves, but are the responsibility of the Federal Police. Of course, “Siko” does not carry this out itself and therefore commissions specially certified security companies as subcontractors. Most of the time, at least one uniformed officer supervises the work of the so-called aviation security assistants. In Frankfurt am Main, for the first time in Germany, there will be a change because the airport is allowed there carry out the checks themselves. We are currently in a transition phase.
In other countries, such as Austria, the airport operator has to carry out the control itself. The locally responsible State Police Headquarters is responsible for supervising this. However, there are also countries in which the security checks are carried out entirely by the authorities.
In Germany, the core problem is that the Siko employees are not top earners and the jobs are not really permanently stable due to the fact that the federal police or the respective superordinate regional council has to make regular new advertisements. Trade union circles keep saying that there is often an acute shortage of staff among subcontractors and that the public sector reacts little or not at all. The consequences of this: heavy workload for the employees and possibly long waiting times for the passengers.
ADV cannot gain anything from the strike
Verdi's demand is clear: they want to achieve at least one euro more per hour worked for the security staff. However, the negotiations with the employer side are deadlocked and the explanations why this is the case differ greatly. The union therefore organizes warning strikes at regular intervals in order to emphasize the demand. That does not suit the working group of German commercial airports, which is not a collective bargaining party due to the constellation described in the second paragraph.
“A nationwide, all-day warning strike with the shortest possible warning is beyond what is bearable. An impertinence for tens of thousands of travelers and for the aviation industry, which continues to be hit by corona-related losses," says ADV Managing Director Jörg Beisel. The trade union is thus weakening Germany as an airport location. If the escalating strikes continue like this, then all the already slow recovery trends of economic consolidation at airports over the past few months will be in vain. Ver.di is flexing its muscles again. The question is at what price. The airports are not collective bargaining partners, but they are directly affected by the economic consequences.”
Airports assume massive restrictions
Cologne/Bonn Airport, which was affected by the strike and is also not a collective bargaining partner, announced, among other things: “There will probably be significant delays at the passenger controls. Travelers who have booked a flight from Cologne/Bonn for March 22, 2022 are urgently requested to inquire with their airlines or tour operators about the status of their flight in good time and especially before arriving at the airport. In order to speed up the control processes, passengers should always limit their hand luggage to only the bare essentials. A total of 22.3 passenger flights are scheduled for Tuesday (March 123) in Cologne/Bonn (60 departures, 63 arrivals). The airport is therefore expecting around 12.000 passengers as planned.”
In Hamburg it is assumed that the majority of departures will be cancelled. 88 starts were planned for Tuesday. Arrivals should still be possible. In the south, in Stuttgart, considerable restrictions are also expected: “Passengers in Stuttgart must therefore expect considerable impairments. Passengers are strongly advised to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. Many airlines have had to postpone or cancel flights as a result of the strike announcement. In general, passengers should plan more time before departure and take as little hand luggage as possible. Waiting times at security checkpoints in all terminals are displayed on the airport's website. Passenger control in Terminal 1 is currently closed due to renovations, passengers can use the control point in Terminal 3. The airport regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers by the repeated strike."