Germany: Breakthrough in Ground Handling: Industry Collective Agreement Signed!

22 Feb 2024

ETF german affiliate Ver.di has secured a historic collective agreement, including improved wages and working conditions for 30,000 employees at German airports.This is major victory for fair treatment and better working conditions in the ground-handling industry.

Livia Spera, ETF General Secretary, congratulates ver.di on their achievement:

“This industry collective agreement is a testament to the power of collective action and a beacon of hope for workers across Europe. ver.di’s tireless efforts have secured significant improvements for their members, setting a strong precedent for fairer treatment in the ground handling sector. We stand in solidarity with ver.di and celebrate this hard-fought victory!”


Highlights of the new agreement:

  • Significantly higher wages: Starting wage increased to €16.51 per hour, with further increases based on experience and qualifications.
  • Reduced working hours: Weekly working hours lowered to 37.5 hours with full wage compensation.
  • Improved work-life balance:
    • At least 17 free Sundays per year for shift workers.
    • Additional leave for shift workers.
    • Up to 36 days of vacation.
  • Premium pay:
    • Surcharges for Sunday, holiday, and night work, ensuring fair compensation for inconvenient working hours.
  • Wider application: Agreement applies to 30,000 workers at major German airports with over 2 million passengers or 50,000 tons of freight.
  • Sets a precedent: Replaces numerous individual agreements and sets a new standard for the industry.


While this is a significant step forward, the fight for fair treatment continues for ground staff at airlines like Lufthansa, where separate negotiations are ongoing. We remain committed to supporting ver.di and all unions fighting for better working conditions in the aviation industry in Germany and throughout Europe.