Statement by the WISAG hunger strikers at Frankfurt airport

The ground workers dismissed by WISAG have ended their hunger strike against dismissals and wage theft after eight days. At the same time, they are making a strong appeal to their colleagues at all WISAG sites, at all airports and throughout production to join forces in extending the fight for secure jobs.

We, the WISAG ground workers who have resorted to hunger strike at Rhein-Main Airport, call on all workers to join us in our struggle to resist dismissals, wage theft and job insecurity. We especially address the 3.9 million metal-industry workers whose protest strikes are just beginning: Let us join together in an effective industrial struggle for secure jobs and decent wages!

The WISAG company is using the pandemic to enrich itself doubly and triply from us: If it goes according to the will of the WISAG owners, the Wisser family, one of the 300 richest families in Germany, then it is precisely the longest-serving, most experienced workers who will be dismissed or forced to switch to new bogus companies and start all over again. Those who refuse are punished with an immediate wage freeze and dismissal with practically no severance pay. This is what 31 apron bus drivers at WISAG have experienced: They have not received any pay since October 2020. Safety in the pandemic is also not guaranteed: Several Covid-19 cases have been covered up; colleagues have continued to be forced to work.

We demand: Every single job must be defended! The workers have built up the company over decades. Their wages, benefits and company pensions must be fully guaranteed. Pandemic-related unilateral dismissals are legally void!

Safety from the coronavirus! As long as the pandemic is not under control, workplaces must be cut back to the necessities of life, with full wage compensation for all who cannot work. Full sick pay! Full support for families!

To push through these demands, we workers must take up a common struggle internationally, because the corporations, which themselves operate globally, are trying to play us off against each other, one location against another, with the help of the trade unions. The coronavirus also knows no national borders.

Our struggle must be independent of the trade unions—because trade union officials and works council representatives have become the junior partners of the employers. They sit on the supervisory boards of Lufthansa, Fraport & Co. and have helped organise all the redundancies, spin-offs, and other attacks. They are not fighting for the interests of the workers, but for the welfare of the “German economy,” i.e., ultimately of the share owners, bankers and the super-rich.

Our struggle has not been supported by Verdi union officials, nor by the works council. That is why we turn to you, the workers, who know our problems first-hand. Workers everywhere are facing similar problems. We must fight together! Contact us, support our struggle, which is also yours, and organise yourselves in independent action committees.

We, the workers, are “essential”; without us society does not function. We say: Life before profits! The health and well-being of the workers are more important than the profits of the financial oligarchy.