March 23, 2017 / 8:53 AM / 3 years ago

Frankfurt airport ground staff reach wage deal, averting strike

Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, September 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German union Verdi has struck a wage agreement with Spanish ground handling services group Acciona, averting strikes at Frankfurt airport, Germany’s biggest.

Verdi has been seeking higher pay for ground staff at a number of German airports, including Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Berlin, and has organised strikes that led to hundreds of flight cancellations and stranded passengers across Germany.

In Frankfurt, hub to German flagship airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), around 800 ground crew will receive a pay increase of 1.15 euros an hour in three steps, equivalent to an average wage hike of around 9 percent, the union said on Thursday.

In addition, workers will receive an additional day of paid vacation from their fifth year with the company, plus one more a year later.

The union said talks were complicated by the fact Acciona’s concession agreement for Frankfurt airport will run out soon and the German state of Hesse has tendered a new contract.

“If Acciona should keep the concession, further issues will be negotiated,” it said, adding a decision on the matter was expected in May.

Verdi earlier this month agreed to mediation in a wage dispute at Berlin’s two airports, Tegel and Schoenefeld, that had paralysed air travel to and from Germany’s capital.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter

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