German trade union Verdi on Wednesday called on workers at airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dortmund, Hanover and Bremen to strike for 24 hours, saying collective bargaining efforts had made little progress.
“On Friday, February 17, there will therefore be major disruptions to air traffic,” said Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, which counted more than 48 million passengers in 2022.
All functions that allow full flight operations at the airport will be suspended as a result, it added in a statement, urging travelers to avoid the airport that day.
The strike is expected to affect domestic travel, according to Verdi, which said it had given advance warning about the strike so that passengers could find alternative options.
The evacuation also coincides with the start of the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC), which brings hundreds of delegates to the Bavarian capital, including many world leaders.
A spokesperson for the Maritime Safety Commission said the strike will affect the conference schedule, adding that the organizers are in close contact with all parties to minimize the impact of the strike.
A Verdi spokesperson in Munich said that flights at the Bavarian city’s airport will largely stop on Friday, but that MSC participants should be able to land via emergency services.
A Verdi spokesperson added that the issue would be discussed with the airport on Thursday.
The union is currently in negotiations for three groups of workers: ground service employees, public sector officials, and aviation security workers.
“There continues to be a catastrophic shortage of ground service personnel – and this was clearly felt by commuters last summer,” Christine Behle, a Verdi board member, said in a statement.
Airlines across Europe have faced labor struggles since last year as a rapid recovery in tourism led to staff shortages and high inflation prompted employees to demand higher wages.
The new year brought with it new measures in Germany as a strike organized by Verdi at Berlin Airport, which was not directly affected by Friday’s strike, led to the cancellation of all flights on January 25.