Germany: Wage strike blocks all flights at Berlin airport, operator says

BERLIN (Reuters) – All flights were canceled on Wednesday at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, which serves the German capital, the operator said, due to a staff strike amid wage demands.

Around 300 take-offs and landings with nearly 35,000 passengers were initially scheduled for Wednesday. The strike began around 3:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. GMT).

German trade union Verdi has called ground services, aviation security and airport company staff to strike over the wage dispute. The one-day work stoppage was declared due to insufficient progress in the three parallel wage negotiations.

“We hope the pressure is enough,” said union representative Enrico Ruemker, adding that the aim was to push the negotiations forward.

The airport company has made a collective bargaining offer for 24 months, he said, under which wages would rise by 3% on June 1 and another 2% on May 1 next year .

“When you see how high the inflation rate is and that the colleagues in this region have not had a salary increase for many, many years, this offer is of course a slap in the face for the colleagues,” said said Enrico Ruemker.

The German government was due to publish its annual economic report on Wednesday. According to one source, a preliminary version of this report indicated inflation of 6% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024.

(Reports Klaus Lauer, Leon Malherbe and Petra Haverkamp; Written by Paul Carrel and Rachel More; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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