Eurowings employees strike causes flight cancellations

Eurowings employees in Germany held a warning strike over a wage dispute Tuesday, leading to at least 26 flight cancelations.

Eurowings passengers could expect flight cancellations or delays Tuesday at the Dusseldorf airport in Germany due to a temporary employee strike. File Photo by Oliver Berg/European Pressphoto Agency
Eurowings passengers could expect flight cancellations or delays Tuesday at the Dusseldorf airport in Germany due to a temporary employee strike. File Photo by Oliver Berg/European Pressphoto Agency

Eurowings urged customers to arrive early because of expected delays at check-in and in the security area, but ticket counters were staffed with more employees than usual for security reasons, DPA/The Local reported.
“The situation in the terminal is calm,” an airport spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Verdi trade union called for cabin crews of Eurowings and LGW airlines to go on a temporary strike Tuesday at Düsseldorf Airport, walking out from 4:30 a.m. to noon.

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The aviation company Walter, or LGW, has been an operational unit of Eurowings since Lufthansa purchased it in October 2017.

Verdi spokesman Volker Nusse said there had been good turnout for the strike Tuesday morning.

The union says Eurowings contradicts collective bargaining agreements and work shifts last longer than they should legally. It also says LGW has refused further negotiations about the salaries for 350 flight attendants.

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“We are very determined and combative,” Nusse said.

Eurowings employs half of its 1000 cabin workers at its main location in Düsseldorf, the union said.

A day earlier Eurowings had condemned the strike in a statement saying that it wasn’t necessary because it had already arranged a date to meet at the negotiating table with Verdi.

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“This behavior is no longer comprehensible for anyone,” Eurowings Managing Director and Head of Human Resources Frank Bauer said. “With its repeated escalation and the creation of phony threats and pressure, Verdi is increasingly losing its reputation as a reliable social partner.”

“Solutions are only possible at the negotiating table – we are still willing to talk,” Bauer added. “The gratuitous call for a strike is supposed to indicate strength but not only does it harm our customers, it also harms our company and therefore our employees.”

Eurowings also downplayed the strike’s impact.

“The temporary token strike is limited to the Düsseldorf location,” a Eurowings statement said. “At all the other twelve locations, Eurowings will carry out its more than 700 daily flights as scheduled. Even at the temporarily affected Düsseldorf site, Eurowings expects that the vast majority of its flights will go ahead as planned. ”

BySommer Brokaw