In aviation, after a spring full of strikes, the risk of further work stoppages has decreased significantly. As of today, an arbitration recommendation has been made for the approximately 25,000 aviation security inspectors, which is supported by employers and the unions. It is still subject to approval by the respective committees, for which, according to the Verdi union, a corresponding declaration period runs until Tuesday afternoon. The assumption is considered probable.

On the night of today, after three days of negotiations, the former Bremen State Councilor for Finance Hans-Henning Lühr (SPD) either excluded or reconciled the different positions. The arbitration committee, made up of all collective bargaining parties, unanimously approved the proposal. In addition to Verdi, the “dbb Civil Service Association and Collective Bargaining Union” also took part on the employee side.

What was agreed upon?

The arbitrator’s decision provides for salary increases for employees in three stages between 13.1 and 15.1 percent over a period of 15 months, as the employers’ association BDLS reported. The collective agreement is scheduled to run until the end of March 2025. The workers are employed by private service providers who check passengers, freight and staff at airports outside Bavaria.

Depending on the professional group, hourly wages will increase by amounts between 1.85 and 2.90 euros, as the collective bargaining partners announced. Verdi had demanded an increase of 2.80 euros over a period of 12 months. From January 1, 2025, employees at passenger checkpoints will receive a basic hourly wage of 23.30 euros, and at general access controls to the airport premises it will then be 22.39 euros per hour after a disproportionate increase.

One point remains unclear

Surprisingly, the particularly contentious issue of overtime bonuses was left out. According to participants, Arbitrator Lühr found himself unable to reconcile the widely divergent ideas. Negotiations will now take place again at the end of the year. Verdi had criticized the fact that, according to the current rules, only employers benefited from the flexibility reserves. The regulations now continue to apply for the time being.

According to Verdi, arbitrator Lühr pointed to proceedings at the Federal Labor Court in which a crucial question is expected to be clarified by the highest court in September. The process is about the trigger limit for overtime bonuses, which in the current case at Lufthansa Cityline has not been proportionally lowered for part-time employees. The European Court of Justice sees this as a discriminatory disadvantage for part-time employees if they only receive bonuses above the limit applicable to full-time employees.

Travelers can breathe a sigh of relief

According to figures from the airport association ADV, the waves of warning strikes in aviation security have affected around half a million passengers. Alternating with strikes and warning strikes at Lufthansa, a large number of flights were canceled in the spring. ADV Managing Director Ralph Beisel welcomed the successful arbitration with relief. He said: “Although the airport operators are not parties to collective bargaining, they were indirectly affected by the escalating warning strikes. Now travelers can book their flights again with peace of mind. At least at the aviation security checkpoints, the risk of strikes has been averted.”

Before Easter, Verdi had already accepted the arbitration award from Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow and the former head of the employment agency Frank-Jürgen Weise for the Lufthansa ground staff. Negotiations with the UFO union for the cabin crew, who have also already gone on strike, are still open at Lufthansa. The talks last Friday were postponed until this week after they had been constructive.