Chaos at the airport: only a few helpers from Turkey

Status: 10/08/2022 08:14

In late June, the enormous lack of staff at the airports caused chaos. Politicians promised help. In some federal states, the holidays are almost over. Did the promised support come on time?

Author: Kai Clement, ARD Capital Studio

Just days after the photos of chaos from the airports, three ministers appeared in front of the camera in Berlin. Three ministers, one message: the federal government provides rapid assistance at airports in Germany. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faser has promised to deploy foreign assistants, especially from Turkey, at the airports. “We want to help very quickly!” Said Transport Minister Volker Wissing. And Labor Minister Hubertus Heil agreed: “Because holidaymakers in Germany don’t have to suffer from such things.”

So far, only one visa has been issued

Three ministers joining arms. Above all, they wanted to pave the way for Turkish assistants to enter the German labor market. At that time, up to 2,000 people were mentioned. They should receive work permits on short notice, airport security checks and the issuing of visas should be accelerated.

The campaign success is exactly one now. So far, only one visa application has been processed, only 44 other applications have been submitted. Of course, this is not a satisfactory situation, says government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit: “Of course we want to have operational airports.” But: “It’s not the fault of the federal government, but of the airport companies that don’t have enough employees,” Hebestreit said.

Payment without collective agreement

44 applications by post instead of 2,000 employees in Germany: It therefore sounds almost optimistic as the groundhandling association of ABL is expecting around 250 foreign employees by the middle of this month.

ABL boss Thomas Richter complained about this ARD Capital studio writing that the policy should have allowed for longer employment than just until the end of the fall vacation in November: “For us, the end of the year would be desirable. The current deadline is too short. ‘ The reason for this is the time it takes to test and train new employees.

Balancing suitcases is hard work – outside and in shift work. All without collective agreement and adequate payment. During the pandemic, many workers continued to work part-time and companies reduced their workforce significantly. In the corona crisis, air operations were not expected to return so soon, admits the head of ABL Richter.

The government blames the corporations

That’s why the government blames the industry for the aviation chaos. The Federal Labor Minister explained it at the end of June: “It is not possible – and I am saying this also because of the public impression – that companies are creating problems and throwing you in the face,” Heil said at the time.

Pascal Kober, the FDP spokesman for labor market policy, also does not want to see chaos at the airport in front of the door of the traffic light coalition: “If nobody applies for a job in Germany, it is not because the government has not adopted the appropriate measures, but of course there is no interest. “.

1.7 million workers are missing in Germany

The opposition CDU criticizes that the government has promised too much faster aid in announcing it. “It did not happen. We are simply saying: flights are canceled, which means in plain language to many: no vacation or relaxation, ”says labor market expert Axel Knoerig.

Kober, a member of the FDP, points to the Union: During her rule, she did not support targeted immigration into the labor market. This is what traffic lights are doing now. According to him, a total of 1.7 million workers – from IT specialists to harvest helpers – are missing in Germany.

Foreign helpers at airports – an unsuccessful attempt

Kai Clement, ARD Berlin, August 10, 2022 at 8:15 am

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