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Global Economy

Up to 26 percent more wages for ground staff

Ground staff at several German airports are getting higher wages. The trade union ver.di was able to reach wage agreements for more than 6,000 employees of smaller companies. "Due to the lack of staff and the high workload, many employers are more willing to significantly increase their income. That's very gratifying," said ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky.

Among other things, wages are rising at the passenger handling company Aviation Handling Services, which operates at the airports in Düsseldorf, Hanover and Cologne/Bonn, for example. The employees will receive between 17 and 26 percent more wages within the next six months. At the ground handling service provider Aviapartner in Düsseldorf and Hanover, salaries will be increased by 300 euros with immediate effect.

Higher hourly wages than at Lufthansa

Fraground employees at Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt am Main will also receive up to 14 percent more retrospectively from July 1st. In addition, there is a one-off payment of 700 euros for the current burden in air traffic. ver.di recently achieved wage increases of up to 18 percent for the staff of Stuttgart Ground Services and the Düsseldorf-based handling company Acciona.

As a result of the agreements, the hourly wages of the smaller companies would in future be higher than those at Lufthansa, calculated union secretary Reschinsky. Accordingly, check-in staff at AHS in Cologne and Düsseldorf who have been working for the company for two years will in future receive an hourly wage of 14.19 euros. According to Reschinsky, hourly wages at Aviapartner in Düsseldorf or Hanover have risen to 14.45 euros. Lufthansa currently only pays 13.26 euros in this tariff group.

New negotiations with Lufthansa

In view of the willingness of smaller companies to increase wages for employees, it is "all the more astonishing when a company like Lufthansa rejects significant increases, disappoints the employees and expects its passengers to go on strikes during the holidays," says Reschinsky.

As of Wednesday, the union is negotiating with Lufthansa in the third round about more money for around 20,000 employees in the group in the ground staff. For them, ver.di demands 9.5 percent more wages for a term of twelve months. To increase the pressure, employees went on strike for more than 26 hours last week. The airline had to cancel more than a thousand flights, affecting more than 130,000 passengers.

Thousands of skilled workers are missing

The Lufthansa pilots had also voted for a strike after deadlocked wage negotiations at the weekend. The company is still trying to prevent that. "The talks will continue so that we can come to a solution at the negotiating table," said a Lufthansa spokeswoman today.

All German airports are currently struggling with staff shortages: According to the German Economic Institute, around 7,200 specialists are missing. This sometimes means long waiting times for passengers. In addition to the pay, trade unions criticize the working conditions in the industry and the trend towards outsourcing services.

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