Budget airliner Ryanair flew in strikebreakers to Berlin's Schönefeld airport who then violated safety standards, union officials claimed . Verdi union strike leader Enrico Rümker said the workers lacked the proper safety checks. Union officials shared photos of Ryanair employees wearing jeans and sneakers, which is said constituted a substantial violation of safety procedures.
Groundworkers at Berlin's two main airports stayed on strike for a second day on Tuesday, canceling almost 580 flights. It was the latest in a series of industrial disputes calling for a pay-rise. The union is calling for a pay increase and better working hours in the face of an increased workload. The union is demanding a 1 euro ($1.07) increase for hourly wages for ground staff as part of a one-year collective agreement. Berlin airport management previously offered a 10-cent increase to the hourly wage over four years, which then changed to an 8 percent increase over three years. The union is also calling for better working conditions.
"The volume is too small and the duration far too long to find a compromise on this basis," said Verdi negotiator Enrico Ruemker in a statement.
Union representatives said they would not strike for the rest of the week, but warned that the use of strike-breakers meant they may not announce future strikes ahead of time. Previously they announced strikes 18 hours before they came into force.