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airberlin: Passengers bearing the brunt of labour dispute

March 15, 2017 Aviation No Comments Email Email

airberlin has criticised the continuation of the labour dispute with ground handling services at Berlin’s airports. Today, the company wrote to staff and employers involved in the wage dispute, urging both parties to return to the negotiating table. The letter, signed by CEO Thomas Winkelmann and Chief Human Resources officer Martina Niemann states:

“We condemn the continuation of this labour action by ground handling services at Berlin’s airports and urge both partners to return to the negotiating table.

An extension to the ground handling services strike was announced this morning which will last until Wednesday morning, 15/03/2017 at 5:00 a.m. This signals the escalation of a labour dispute, the brunt of which is being borne by the passengers.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been unable to board their flights since Friday last week. Visitors to the ITB International Travel Trade Show directly felt the effects of the strike. On Friday, airberlin alone saw over 200 flights cancelled. Only long-haul flights to Abu Dhabi, the Caribbean and the US, the flight to Tel Aviv and long-haul feeder flights to the hub in Dusseldorf took off.

This Monday and Tuesday will now see hundreds more flights cancelled. Each day that this labour dispute continues is causing millions in damages to the airline sector and all other service providers at Berlin’s airports.

As the largest airline operating from Berlin-Tegel airport, this dispute is hitting airberlin particularly hard. We therefore urge both parties involved in this wage dispute to take responsibility and return to the negotiating table without further delay.

Such conflicts can only be resolved by working together – we therefore hope for a constructive dialogue as wage partners in the interests of passengers, staff and the Berlin economy.”

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