Air chaos focuses on working conditions | Free press

Do bad working conditions at airports cause chaos in air traffic? Even the FDP minister warns companies.

Berlin / Frankfurt.

Due to the chaos in European air traffic, working conditions in the industry have come under scrutiny.

In an interview with Bild TV, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing spoke in favor of an appropriate payment. However, this is a business matter. “There is currently no possibility to shape these employment contracts from a political point of view,” said the FDP politician. “But it is also clear that we must keep these jobs attractive if we, as a society, do not want to have such problems in the long run.”

Lots of cancellations and flight delays

Across Europe, flights are largely canceled or delayed. In addition to the surprisingly high demand, the industry cites the lack of professional staff as the reason. During the airport corona crisis, airlines and service providers cut back staff and also lost professionals who were looking for jobs in other sectors. Wages are relatively low, especially in groundhandling and cabin services.

From the point of view of the left, air traffic can only be brought back on track with higher wages and better conditions. “If you want to fight chaos, it means good working conditions for workers, it means collective bargaining, the end of temporary work and temporary employment because that’s the only way to get workers back,” said party leader Janine Wissler.

Foreign workers have no solution

She added that recruiting workers from abroad, under pressure from the federal government, is not a solution. Staff would need to be checked first, which would take weeks. In the short term, these people could not be hired. Wissler stressed that security tasks such as airport security should remain in the hands of the state and not be entrusted to private companies. She referred to Bavaria, which set up a security company for this purpose. This is “a very good example.”

The airport association ADV has dismissed the allegations of low wages. “In the field of aviation security, wages have doubled in recent years and are well above the statutory minimum wage,” explained CEO Ralph Beisel. In the case of groundhandling and loading services, airports and private employers intend to conclude a sectoral collective agreement with unions that will ensure a uniform and fair payment for all wage groups. According to ADV, airports are up to 20 percent missing. personnel in operational areas. Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said systemic issues need to be resolved in many different places.

The situation in travel agencies is also tense

The situation is also tense in travel agencies. Due to flight cancellations and flight delays, the travel agency association VUSR is seeking compensation for additional sales work. Travel agencies have done “hard work for the industry and so far for free,” Marija Linnhoff, president of the Union of Independent Self-Employed Travel Agents (VUSR), recently told Reise vor 9.

The airline has been selling flights for months, which are now canceling because they have no staff, Linnhoff said. The shortage of skilled workers has been known for a long time. The stationary sales therefore expect the airlines to sit down with all those affected to find a solution that replaces the extra work for travel agents. “If in doubt or else we would have to consider a lawsuit for this compensation for our members,” Linnhoff said. (dpa)

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