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!