Vienna-Schwechat Airport has been hit with cancellations as German trade union Verdi has called for a labor dispute, affecting 20 flights to Berlin, Hamburg, and Hanover. The strike is part of unsuccessful collective agreement negotiations for aviation security employees who work during inconvenient hours, as well as employees in ground handling services and the public sector at federal and local levels.
The strikes are a result of unsuccessful collective agreement negotiations for paying aviation security employees for work at inconvenient times, ground handling services, and employees in the public sector at federal and local levels. Verdi has been in negotiations with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) for years, but surcharges for employees have not been improved since 2006, and negotiations for an increase have been ongoing since 2013, with no offer from employers.
The labor dispute has caused inconvenience for travelers, and the airport association ADV has criticized the short notice of the announcement, leaving passengers with limited options to find alternatives. The strikes could also be the prelude to further work stoppages in other areas of the transport sector, including a possible joint warning strike with EVG on March 27.
A spokesperson for Vienna Airport has advised travelers to contact their airline or tour operator to inquire about their flights, given the cancellations. ADV, the airport association, reports a total of 351 departures cancelled due to the strike. The association has criticized the short notice of the announcement, stating that passengers have limited opportunities to find alternatives and become pawns in the labor dispute.
The strikes began on Sunday evening at Hamburg Airport, with all 123 originally planned take-offs and at least 50 of the 121 originally planned landings in Hamburg cancelled for Monday. Verdi expects that no passenger planes will take off or land at Hanover and Bremen airports on Monday.
Berlin’s BER airport is also affected, with a warning strike scheduled to begin at 3:30 a.m. on Monday and end at midnight. The airport advises that there will be no regular departures, and an estimated 200 take-offs and 27,000 passengers will be affected.
Many airlines have cancelled their flights to Berlin-Brandenburg Airport for Monday, according to the airport’s website. Eurowings, when asked, stated that customers have been offered alternatives or rebookings on the train where possible.
The strikes could only be the beginning, with the railway and transport union EVG currently negotiating with Deutsche Bahn and 50 other railway companies about new collective agreements. A balance sheet will be drawn up by March 23, and further measures will be decided on, according to an EVG spokesman.
Vienna-Schwechat Airport is advising travelers to stay informed and check for updates on their flight status with their airline or tour operator.