Strike over pay at Berlin airport grounds all flights: Operator

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BERLIN – Staff at Germany’s BER airport in capital Berlin went on strike to press their pay demands on Wednesday and the airport operator said all regular passenger flights were cancelled as a result.

Around 300 take-offs and landings with just under 35,000 passengers were originally planned for Wednesday.

The Ver.di union called on airport staff in ground services, aviation security and at the airport company to strike in the wage dispute. It called the one-day work stoppage over what it said was insufficient progress in wage talks.


People wait with their luggages during a general strike by employees over pay demands at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany on Jan. 25, 2023.
REUTERS

“We hope that the pressure is enough,” said union representative Enrico Ruemker, adding that the goal was movement at the negotiations.

He said the airport company had made a collective bargaining offer for a 24-month term under which salaries would increase by 3% on June 1 and by another 2% on May 1 next year.

Luggages are seen next to empty check-in kiosks during a general strike by employees over pay demands at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany on Jan. 25, 2023.

Departure panel shows canceled flights during a general strike by employees over pay demands at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany on Jan. 25, 2023.
Departure panel shows canceled flights during a general strike by employees over pay demands at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany on Jan. 25, 2023.


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Passengers look at departure panels showing canceled flights during a general strike by employees over pay demands, at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin on Jan. 25, 2023.
Passengers look at departure panels showing canceled flights during a general strike by employees over pay demands, at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), in Schoenefeld near Berlin on Jan. 25, 2023.


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

The German government was set on Wednesday to release its annual economic report. A source told Reuters that a draft of this report forecast 6% inflation this year and 2.8% for 2024.



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