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EuropeMEP Dennis Radtke: Working Conditions at German airports like those of Chinese...

MEP Dennis Radtke: Working Conditions at German airports like those of Chinese migrants

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DÜSSELDORF, 22 July 2022 – For Dennis Radtke, CDU MEP, the chaos at German and European airports was predictable. For the social expert in the European Parliament, the fact that passengers have to be at the airport several hours before departure, that it takes weeks for their suitcases to be delivered to their destination or that they even miss their flights has a lot to do with working conditions.

After a visit to Düsseldorf airport, the CDU politician is appalled by the prevailing working conditions at the external companies operating at the airports:

“New hires are exclusively part-time. Workers who spend the night in cars because they have no more money for petrol remind me more of Chinese migrant workers than of the birthplace of the social market economy.”

Radtke said in Düsseldorf:

“The responsible federal security bodies have completely failed. Security checks at airports are a sovereign task. They ensure the safety of all passengers and also contribute to the protection against terrorism.”

He said it was an absolute sham for the federal police to try to fill the gaps in passenger screening by deploying so-called “part-loans” (not qualified security staff).

Federal Government and especially the Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, should no longer look the other way when it comes to security, he added.

“The Federal Minister of the Interior must finally ensure that when services are contracted out, at least good working conditions are guaranteed for the employees.”

Before the start of a new travel weekend, the North Rhine-Westphalian MEP spoke with representatives of the management and works councils at Düsseldorf Airport and got an idea of the current situation by taking a look behind the scenes. Radtke said that it was alarming that in the meantime 100 employees of the service provider DSW at Düsseldorf Airport had filed overload and endangerment notices with the employers under labour protection law. “These are unacceptable conditions.”

A fortnight ago, the social policy spokesman of the EPP group in the European Parliament asked the European Commission with a catalogue of questions to urgently ensure better working conditions through firm regulations. “It cannot be that not only flights are cancelled, but that Lufthansa lets thousands of flights fly from airport to airport without passengers in order to halfway escape the chaos,” Radtke complains about the current situation. Miscalculations by the federal police and security companies had led to this lack of planning.

The deficits at airlines and airports are in many places the result of ruinous downward competition,” Radtke laments the conditions. The trend towards cheap flights has ensured that fewer and fewer people are paid fairly for their work. Radtke: “That’s why many workers have looked for new jobs in other sectors in recent years.” Whether the decision to put aviation security in the hands of profit-oriented security companies was the right one should therefore at least be questioned, Radtke continued. He wanted to make sure that people could fly to their well-deserved holidays again and that the necessary business flights were carried out. It is therefore necessary that airlines and airports urgently improve their social standards and employ qualified staff at fair wages. Radtke: “Otherwise we will not succeed in finally fixing this chaos.”

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