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Berlin: Token Strike at Easyjet Causes Delays and Cancellations

Easyjet’s cabin crew members started a warning strike at BER Airport on Friday morning. As a result, delays were expected. Eleven flights were cancelled.

Berlin, June 10th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — On Thursday, Germany’s Verdi union prompted 450 cabin crew members employed by Easyjet in the Berlin Brandenburg region to take part in a token strike. It was supposed to last from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Friday. These are not the first walkouts airline employees are part of this year. In March, a series of them caused a chaos at several German airports.

Stalling Negotiations

Because of today’s strike, as many as eleven Easyjet flights were cancelled. These were supposed to be their destinations: Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Amsterdam, Malaga, Copenhagen, Geneva, London, Paris, Rome and Stockholm.

This is about ongoing salary negotiations between the British airline and Verdi. German-language publications quoted Holger Rössler, the union’s chief negotiator. He said the employers had not handed in any offer for a pay raise. Therefore they had provoked the warning strike themselves.

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‘More than Justified’

Verdi insists on a salary increase of at least 5 percent and a one-time payment of one salary per employee because of rising consumer prices. “Our demands are more than justified”, Rössler was quoted as saying. He also stated the cabin crews were under pressure because of “the chaotic restart phase in the entire sector”. Rössler was referring to the fact that the number of passengers has increased substantially since the Corona pandemic literally brought down the aviation sector twice.

There is a much graver issue at the horizon: Easyjet recently announced it would shrink its fleet at BER Airport in Schönefeld, Brandenburg, to 11 aircraft in fall. At this stage, BER is the home base for 18 of them. According to the airline, the recovery of the demand for flights is weaker than expected. Hundreds of pilots, co-pilots and cabin crew members could lose their jobs. Before Corona hit in early 2020, thirty-four of Easyjet’s aircraft had been stationed at the Tegel and Schönefeld Airports, which have been replaced by BER Airport since.

‘EZY1898’ to Take Off

The first Easyjet flight to leave BER Airport after the token strike was ‘EZY1898’ to Manchester at 10:15 a.m. CEDT. More warning strikes cannot be ruled out.

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