UPDATED 16-01-2019 16:40 (UTC +2)

German security workers have continued their rounds of strikes this week in attempt to sway salary negotiations. The latest walkout came less than 10 days after strikes at western German airports led to cancellations of over 600 flights. The new round of strikes by airport security personnel affected eight major German airports on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, sparking a wave of cancellations that affected 220,000 passengers, German officials have said.

At Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s largest airport, security staffers, represented by the DBB and Verdi trade unions, started their walkout at 2 a.m. local time (0100 UTC) on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. But the action did not end there. Verdi, the union representing airport security workers, launched "warning strikes" at seven more airports: Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig / Halle, Dresden and Erfurt.

The organization claims that the action is related to unsuccessful collective bargaining negotiations with BDLS, an organization representing Germany's airport security companies. Verdi is calling for hourly wage increase to €20 ($23) for passenger, freight, personnel and goods control workers, claiming BDLS has only offered an approximate 40 cents increase so far. The present rate is €17, BBC reports. 

The full-day strike led to the cancellation of services across Europe as well as intercontinental flights. According to German Airports Association, the walkouts "paralyzed" airline network in Germany. “Once again, the airports are abused as the scene in a labor dispute, in which they are not even tariff party,” the association stated.

"Brace for impact"

The strike action, however, did not come as a surprise. It had been announced in advance: Frankfurt airport, as well as Lufthansa, which cancelled 500 flights, had urged passengers to prepare for major disruption as early as January 11, 2019.

On January 15, Frankfurt airport released a travel advisory claiming major disruptions and flight cancellations were to be expected all day. Passengers departing locally from Frankfurt were urged not to travel to the airport, while transfer processes for connecting passengers were said to be “possible”, but with delays and disruptions.