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Ground staffers strike at two Berlin airports

10 March 2017 13:42


Almost all flights have been cancelled at two airports in the German capital of Berlin due to a strike by ground staff over wages.

Ground workers went on strike at Tegel and Schoenefeld airports on Friday. The strike is due to run for 25 hours from 0400 local time (0300 GMT).

The striking staffers are demanding that their pay be increased from 11 euros an hour to 12.

By 0615 GMT, 455 flights had been cancelled at the main Tegel airport, and 204 more at Schoenefeld airport on the outskirts of Berlin, local media reported.

Tegel and Schoenefeld run flights by airlines including Air Berlin, Lufthansa, easyJet, and Ryanair.

The strikes come as Berlin is hosting the world’s biggest tourism trade fair, the ITB, which ends on March 12. Many of the German and foreign visitors to the fair have been affected by the strike.

The Verdi union says the 2,000 ground crew personnel under the syndicate have taken part in the industrial action in an effort to exert pressure on the employers during labor negotiations.

Verdi says it has not yet received an offer from the management that would form the basis for negotiations, adding that it finds this “incomprehensible” in view of recent agreements with crews at other German airports.

“We are ready for talks at any time, of course also over the weekend, and open for a new offer,” said Enrico Ruemker, a strike leader at Verdi.

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