German air traffic controllers to strike this week


Air traffic controllers in Germany plan to stage a strike later this week, potentially affecting more than half a million airline passengers, in order to push through demands for higher wages.

“It won’t be Monday, however,” their chief negotiator, Dirk Vogelsang from the union GDF, said on Sunday.

The GDF said it would give 24 hours’ notice before any further strike. On a typical day in August, around 600 000 people use Germany’s airports, travel association DRV has said, Reuters reports.

German air traffic controllers are demanding a 6.5 percent pay rise over 12 months and have asked that pay be linked to the number of years in service.

It rejected the latest offer from employers for a raise of 3.2 percent plus a one-time payment this year, and an increase of at least 2 percent next year.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has criticised the strike, coming in the heart of the holiday season, and questioned whether a 25-hour work week, 50 days’ annual leave and average pay of about 120,000 euros ($171,500) could be described as bad working conditions.