Lufthansa and Verdi negotiate again after warning strike

19:59: After the 27-hour warning strike by Lufthansa ground staff, the parties to the collective agreement are negotiating again. Representatives of the Verdi union and Lufthansa met on Monday at Frankfurt airport, as reported by both parties. The strike that began last Wednesday in the cities of Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin caused the cancellation of around 900 flights. The warning strike ended on Thursday. Verdi wanted to force an improved offer from the businessman.

Within the framework of the collective agreement, Verdi demands a 12.5 percent increase in salary for the approximately 25,000 employees of different Lufthansa companies, but at least 500 euros per month for a year. There will also be an inflation bonus for the entire group of 3,000 euros. Lufthansa has offered 13 percent more money and an inflation bonus for a period of three years.

10:11 am: Nothing works anymore at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports. All passenger flights were canceled on Monday due to the warning strike by employees of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG. “More than 100 flights at both airports combined are affected,” a company spokesperson said. The vacation plans of thousands of passengers were ruined. Last weekend the two-week school holidays began in Saxony.

The Verdi union called the employees of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG to a 48-hour warning strike early on Sunday. Since then, all passenger flights have been cancelled, as shown on the departure boards. According to Verdi, about 1,300 people work at both airports. Air traffic should resume as planned on Tuesday evening.

Railway boss: we must not hide with the fare offer

Monday, February 12, 6:00 am: The head of Deutsche Bahn, Richard Lutz, highlighted his willingness to negotiate the collective dispute with the GDL train drivers union. The manager told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that it was important for him to find good compromises and collective agreements that guarantee the safety of passengers and freight customers. The company's offer would be financially the highest in its history. “So I don't think we should hide there.”

When asked about criticism from GDL boss Claus Weselsky, who described railway managers as “complete heads”, Lutz responded: “There are certain formulations where I think a limit has been crossed that really should be cultivated in a good cooperation. He is making up his own testimony and I don't want to judge him at all.”

Bahn and GDL are negotiating new fares. A peace obligation applies until March 3, which excludes strikes. Both sides have set a goal of reaching a conclusion by then. Provisional results are not currently reported.

Warning strike at Saxon airports: all passenger flights canceled

Sunday, February 11, 10:17 a.m.: At the beginning of the winter holidays in Saxony, employees of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG went on another warning strike. In Leipzig/Halle and Dresden, all passenger flights were canceled on Sunday, as indicated on the departure signs. Most connections were also shown to be canceled for Monday. According to the airport operator, about 100 flights were affected.

According to the Verdi union, the alert strike began at midnight on Sunday night and will last until midnight on Tuesday. According to Verdi, about 1,300 people work at both airports.

The union wants to use the campaign to put pressure on the collective dispute with the airport operator. It calls for an increase in table fees of 650 euros by 2024, as well as inflation compensation of 3,000 euros. Verdi described the businessman's offer – a remuneration increase of 330 euros in the next three years and an inflation compensation of 2,200 euros – as insufficient for expectations.

A spokesperson for the airport operator stated that with this offer the company had reached its financial limits. Negotiations are scheduled to continue at the end of February.

Rate poker on Valentine's Day: Warning strikes in Hesse are not ruled out

Sunday February 11, 4:01 am: Warning strikes and then more money for state employees? Only two months after the conclusion of the collective negotiations for public services for the other 15 federal states, these negotiations are now also beginning for Hesse. It is the only federal state that is not a member of the employers' association Tarifgemeinschaft deutscher Länder (TdL). Collective bargaining for the approximately 45,000 Hessian state employees, for example in road maintenance departments, in the forestry sector, in courts and in prisons, is therefore carried out independently. The event begins on Ash Wednesday, also Valentine's Day, at the Hessian Ministry of the Interior in Wiesbaden.

Warning strikes cannot be ruled out if the state does not adapt to the unions, says spokesperson for the Verdi service union in Hesse, Ute Fritzel. Does the agreement reached by the other 15 countries in December facilitate the negotiations? “You look at it, but you try to put your own accents,” adds the speaker. Public sector employees from other countries will receive special payments and a 5.5 percent salary increase for a period of 25 months until October 2025.

The demands of the Hessian unions for a twelve-month period are: 500 additional gross euros per month, but at least 10.5 percent more, as well as 260 additional gross euros per month for apprentices. In addition, it is expected that by 2025 35 percent of scientific and artistic employees will receive a permanent employment contract. The attending students should be included in the collective agreement of the state of Hesse.

The unions point to price increases over the past two years, which have not been compensated at all by previous collective agreements. A significant increase in wages is also necessary for Hesse to survive on the labor market in the future. For example, by 2030 there will be a shortage of thousands of trained teachers in schools.

For the first time, the new Minister of the Interior, Roman Poseck, is leading collective bargaining in the federal state of Hesse. In his own words, the Christian Democrat considers the demands of the unions unsustainable. “Taxpayers are not entitled to a salary increase of the required amount of 10.5 percent or at least 500 euros, taking into account an average inflation rate in Hesse for 2023 of 5.8 percent, which recently fell to 2, 2 percent in January 2024. However, he hopes for “good and constructive negotiations that take into account both the interests of employees and the financial impact on the state budget.”

According to Verdi's spokeswoman Fritzel, the next rounds of negotiations are scheduled for March 6 and 7 in Dietzenbach, in the district of Offenbach, and March 14 and 15 in Bad Homburg. On the union side, in addition to Verdi, there are also the Public Service Association and the DBB Collective Bargaining Union, the Police Union (GdP), the Education and Science Union (GEW) and the Construction-Agrar Industrial Union -Environment (IG BAU). also involved.

Again warning strike at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports

21:13: At the beginning of the winter holidays in Saxony, passengers at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports should expect significant restrictions due to another warning strike. The Verdi union has called on the employees of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG to go on strike on Sunday and Monday. “Major disruptions to passenger traffic are to be expected,” a spokesperson for the airport operator said on Friday. This is the third warning strike at Saxon airports this year.

According to Verdi, there is still a long way to go to reach an agreement in collective bargaining. “The strikes did not fail to have their effect,” explained negotiator Paul Schmidt. Most employers' demands for cuts are off the table. “This must now apply to the rest as well. At the same time, the revenue offering remains well below our expectations. With the figures presented, inflation would not be reduced either
“Connection with other airports can still be achieved in a balanced way.”

The union demands, among other things, an increase in table fees of 650 euros by 2024 and inflation compensation of 3,000 euros. The employers had offered a salary increase of 330 euros over the next three years and inflation compensation of 2,200 euros this year, Verdi explained.

According to the airport operator, the strike affects just over 100 flights in Leipzig/Halle and Dresden. “Recently, during the warning strikes, all traffic was paralyzed,” the spokesperson stressed. The warning strike is ruining the vacation plans of thousands of passengers.

The spokesperson explained that the improved offer presented on Thursday included an above-average salary increase, especially for employees in the lowest salary groups. “This offer exceeds the financial limits of our company.” It was agreed to continue negotiations at the end of February. “In this context, such a massive strike is absolutely incomprehensible and difficult to convey to airline passengers and customers.”

More information about notice strikes read on the following pages.