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Warning strike by Lufthansa ground staff: There are disruptions at several airports in Germany

Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

Another warning strike by the German airline Lufthansa has led to numerous flight cancellations since Monday evening. According to the company, more than 100,000 customers could be affected. The strike is scheduled to last until 7:10 a.m. on Wednesday in individual parts of the company, but will generally end on Wednesday night.

According to Ver.di, Lufthansa employees in technology, logistics, freight and IT went on warning strike on Monday evening. The union also called on ground staff in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart to stop work on Tuesday.

Significant restrictions at German airports

Lufthansa wants to get 10 to 20 percent of its planned program of around 1,000 flights into the air. On Monday evening, the company canceled more than 50 connections at its most important hub in Frankfurt. Only a few intercontinental flights should still take place.

  • Munich Airport warned of significant restrictions. Well over half of the planned flights were canceled. Of 790 flights, 448 were canceled, said a spokeswoman for the airport company.

  • At Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the company canceled all planned take-offs and landings, as announced on the website. The original plan was to have 25 takeoffs and landings each. According to the airport's online information, flights of Lufthansa subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are not affected by the warning strike. Lufthansa only flies from the capital airport to Munich and Frankfurt am Main.

  • In Hamburg, the ground staff have been on strike since 4 a.m., as a Ver.di spokeswoman told the dpa news agency on Tuesday morning. Due to the strike, all of the airline's flights in Hamburg are canceled on Tuesday. The routes to and from Frankfurt am Main and Munich are affected. The original plan was for 23 takeoffs and 23 landings.

Lufthansa flights were canceled at Düsseldorf and Cologne-Bonn airports in North Rhine-Westphalia. At Düsseldorf Airport, “well over half of the workforce” took part in the actions, said a spokesman for the Ver.di union. According to the airport's online information, all 17 Lufthansa connections to Frankfurt and Munich are canceled. Five of seven connections at Cologne-Bonn Airport were canceled.

Lufthansa asked for understanding for the cancellations and called on its passengers to only travel to the airport if the respective flight was not canceled. She also referred to the possibility of rebooking tickets online free of charge on the Internet service

Willingness to strike is “enormous”

After the start of the strike by Lufthansa ground staff, the Ver.di union is expecting a high level of participation. "The willingness to strike is enormous," Ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky told the German news agency AFP. A spokesman in Frankfurt am Main also said that the union had the impression that “there are not many in the companies who are not taking part.” “Overall, we would describe this as a success.”

The union hopes that the warning strike by the employees at the company will now “result in a rethink,” said the spokesman in Frankfurt am Main. The last offer submitted by Lufthansa “had relatively little to do with our demands.” Reschinsky also said that Ver.di expects "that Lufthansa will significantly improve its offer" during the renewed negotiations on Wednesday.

First warning strike only two weeks ago – second strike is “necessary”

The background to the warning strike is the group-wide collective wage negotiations for, according to Ver.di, around 25,000 employees on the ground - including at Deutsche Lufthansa, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services and Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services (Leos). Lufthansa speaks of around 20,000 employees.

During the first wave of warning strikes almost two weeks ago, around 900 flights were canceled and more than 100,000 passengers had to reschedule. This time there are even more failures, according to Ver.di. The union described the second wave of warning strikes as necessary because Lufthansa had made no move to improve its existing offer in the previous negotiations.

Ver.di wants to end the collective bargaining dispute among Lufthansa ground staff this week if possible. “We have now proven twice that we can strike,” said Ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky to the German news agency dpa. “It would therefore be wise to conclude now.”