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New round of public worker strikes hit air and commuter traffic

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New round of public worker strikes hit air and commuter traffic
No trams running in Dortmund on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA
08:49 CET+01:00
Temporary strikes by public workers continued into a second day on Thursday, delaying flights and crippling public transportation across the country just as the morning rush began.

Ground personnel at airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne walked off their jobs as the morning shift began. No flight cancellations were reported, but public workers' union Verdi predicted there would be major delays as the day continued.

In the states of Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia bus and tram drivers also went on strike.

Across Germany workers from trash collection, public services, child care centres, senior homes, employment agencies and theatres were also called to show their solidarity in the ongoing wage dispute with state and municipal employers.

Verdi leader Frank Bsirske, who is fighting to get public employees a five percent pay raise, plans to speak to supporters in Dortmund, and has accused employers of using “stalling tactics” in negotiations.

“Theoretically they have already taken a pass on a settlement,” Bsirske told a group striking tram employees in Stuttgart, adding that he still hoped for results during upcoming meetings.

State and municipal employers have criticised Verdi's demands, saying they can't afford to pay workers more following the worst recession since World War II last year. The second round of talks between the two groups broke down on Monday with no agreement.

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