In North Rhine-Westphalia, the holidays have started with images of chaos at Düsseldorf Airport. This did not come as a surprise – neither for the airport nor for the passengers nor for politicians – because the reason is a lack of staff. The federal government has so far reacted rather hesitantly.
Only after Lufthansa and other airlines announced thousands of flight cancellations for the summer did Transport Minister Volker Wissing recently invite to the summit and then particularly emphasized the responsibility of the industry for the situation.
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But now politicians want to intervene after all – and at the weekend held out the prospect of recruiting at least 2,000 temporary workers from Turkey at short notice. There are no details so far, but the emergency aid measure is unlikely to be the solution. Certainly not for this summer.
In order for the “guest workers” – the word came back quickly – to help with security checks, background checks and induction would have to be completed within a month, an unrealistic schedule. Auxiliary activities such as luggage loading would also be conceivable. But even then, a reliability check is needed. The process, which can take months, is now to be accelerated. Possibly with changes in the law.
Verdi is already reporting on angry employees who went through the inspection course and cannot believe that new colleagues from abroad should be hired on lax conditions. And who should come anyway? It will tend not to be skilled workers who have good jobs in their home country and – keyword Turkey – keep global airport hubs running.
One can probably book the guest worker announcement as a calming pill and activism. A learning curve would be more important anyway, because this is not the first chaos summer. Politicians and airports have come face to face with the wall. It is important to improve working conditions so that jobs in the terminal and on the apron become attractive again. Above all, that means more money. Many passengers would certainly pay the price for this in the form of more expensive tickets if their journeys did not begin with a stress test.