Hallelujah! German Airport Employees Agree To Wage Deal – NO MORE STRIKES

In news out of Germany today, it appears that all sides involved in the ongoing saga of work stoppages and warning strikes have agreed to a new labor deal that satisfies both sides.

Workers who are members of the German Union “Verdi” (Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft) agreed to a 6.3% wage increase that will take place over the next 24 months retroactive to March 1, 2012. Originally the 2 million member strong union had demanded a 6.5% increase over the next 12 months.

Hopefully this will end the on going strikes that have affected airports throughout Germany and forced the cancelations of thousands of flights and millions of Euros in lost revenue. The initial motivation for the strikes started with Frankfurt Airport workers who wanted an increase in wages after Frankfurt opened a new runway. The workers felt that with an increase in airport traffic, they deserved a commensurate raise in wages. The various work stoppages in Frankfurt led to sympathy strikes at other German airports, most recently last Tuesday (March 27) when Frankfurt, Cologne-Bonn, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Nuremberg, Munich and Stuttgart workers held various work stoppages.

German workers have recently been critical of their employers’ reluctance to raise wages. Compared to other EU member states, Germany lags the pace of pay increases that workers enjoy in other EU nations.

On a selfish note, I’m very happy this is over because over the coming weeks I have several transits of Germany planned and would have hated to be caught in the middle of these Employer/Employee skirmishes!

Today In Lufthansa History On March 31, 1955: Lufthansa Opens Maintenance Base In Hamburg

1955 was perhaps the single most important year in Lufthansa’s history. In 1955, Lufthansa finally emerged from post World War II Germany to become Germany’s national carrier and a global icon. Among all of the other “firsts” that took place during the historic year, on March 31 Lufthansa proudly opened it’s Maintenance Base in Hamburg.

The Early Days (all photos courtesy of Lufthansa):

Breaking Ground In 1953

Initial Construction

One Of The First Visitors.....

Super "Connies" Fill The Hangar

Today Hamburg is home to Lufthansa’s Technik Headquarters. The facilities have been expanded over the years to accomodate their fleet and in addition, Technik uses Hamburg to work on non-Lufthansa aircraft as well. If you recall a few weeks ago, Boeing delivered the first 747-8i VIP model to an anonymous (Qatar Government!) buyer. This buyer will eventually bring their aircraft here to have Lufthansa install the majority of the interior.

Modern Day Technik Facility

Here is a link to Lufthansa Technik’s homepage that describes the Hamburg operation in much more detail. For an excellent brochure that goes into greater detail on the history of Technik, Click Here.