On Friday morning, warning strikes affected Easyjet’s air traffic at the capital’s BER airport. “The first flights have failed,” said Verdi negotiator Holger Rößler in the morning. “We expect a negotiable offer from the company.” Nothing has happened since the last round of negotiations in mid-May.
The union had previously called on around 450 cabin employees at the company to stop working at the Schönefeld site between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
For the company’s customers, the summer should not only be uncomfortable because of the wage dispute: due to a lack of staff, Easyjet has canceled part of its flight program. Twelve daily flights to and from BER are affected until the end of August. That leaves around 100 flights a day. The “Märkische Allgemeine” reported about it first.
According to Easyjet, around 20 morning flights should be canceled during this period. The majority of the remaining flight schedule with around 130 flights to and from BER should, however, be maintained.
There were no striking employees to be seen at the airport itself in the morning. A total of eleven flights were affected by the strike, including flights to Paris, Rome and Stockholm. The planes to Tel Aviv, Split and Pristina, on the other hand, should take off as planned.
There were no major delays in the morning either. However, the strikes also affected later flights, so flights in the afternoon to BER were also cancelled. Air travelers have to be prepared for possible delays throughout the day.
Easyjet criticized the warning strikes the evening after the call. “We are extremely disappointed with this action at this critical time for the industry,” said a company spokeswoman. “We hoped to the last that the union would not carry out the action and would instead seek talks with Easyjet.”
With the campaign, Verdi wants to emphasize its demands in the current collective bargaining round. The union is demanding at least five percent higher remuneration and a one-off payment for a term until the end of this year.
“The exorbitantly increased prices and the large additional burden on board due to the chaotic restart phase of the entire industry show that our demands are more than justified,” said Rößler. “It’s high time cabin crews were rewarded for it.”
Because the passengers are coming back faster than expected, the aviation industry is in trouble. During the corona pandemic, the companies had cut staff that they are now missing, be it at passenger control, in aircraft handling or in the cabin. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings also canceled hundreds of flights in July alone.
On Friday, easyjet cited a difficult operational environment and an above-average level of sick leave among the crew as the reason for the cancellations. “We deeply regret the short notice of some of these flight cancellations and the associated inconvenience to customers booked on these flights,” a spokeswoman said.