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Strikers shut down German airports

The Local · 27 Mar 2012, 10:25

Published: 27 Mar 2012 08:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2012 10:25 GMT+02:00

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The strike is part of public service union Verdi's ongoing campaign of warning strikes as it negotiates for better pay and conditions. The next round of negotiations of is scheduled for Wednesday.

Verdi has called on all baggage handlers, ground transport crew, technicians, security personnel and administrators to down tools.

The airport strike affects all of Germany's major hubs, as well as minor airports in Bremen, Hannover, Münster-Osnabrück, and Dortmund. The strikes at major airports are:

- Frankfurt airport: 5:30 am – 2:30pm

- Munich airport: 5am – 2pm

- Düsseldorf: 4am – 12 noon

- Cologne/Bonn: 8am – 2pm

- Stuttgart: 6am – 11 am

- Berlin (both Tegel and Schönefeld): 5:30am - 12 noon

Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa has cancelled nearly 430 flights across the country, though some flights have been delayed until the afternoon, when the schedule is expected to normalize. Further information is available on the Lufthansa website (link below).

Verdi has called for a 6.5-percent hike in salary for its two million members. The federal state and local authorities countered this with an offer of 3.3 percent over two years.

Tuesday's strikes have also hit public transport in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where the towns of Kaiserslautern, Mainz and Trier were all affected. A variety of public services in the small state of Saarland have also been stopped.

The strikes should "accelerate the talks," said Verdi head Frank Bsirske.

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Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich criticized the expansion of the industrial action. "Since we've made a substantial offer, it is not justifiable to maltreat the population with these strikes," he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

A series of strikes at Frankfurt Airport last month over a separate pay dispute saw hundreds of short-haul flights cancelled. This dispute was settled on March 21.

The Local/DPA/DAPD/AFP/bk

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Your comments about this article

10:48 March 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
That will keep the airport noise protestors happy for a day.
12:14 March 29, 2012 by raandy
I hope the authors of the strike and the federal and local authorities are also inconvenienced by this.

The percentage 6.5 and 3.3 have little meaning unless you know what the average pay for each area is.

It would be nice if the writers of these articles would put a little more research and information out there to give the readers a better perpective as to what side is unfair.
13:59 March 29, 2012 by finanzdoktor
@raandy: True.

Also, I cannot not wait until the other service sectors, especially the "Mittelstand" affected by these strikes begin to complain, since this will also adversely affect their businesses. Guess the term "Verbindlichkeit" wasn't considered when they made their strike plans.
16:22 March 29, 2012 by Al uk
Thank you strikers at Dusseldorf my boss was stuck over there and couldn't get into work here. Hence a day of peace and productivity which i and my workmates were very grateful for.

The beers are on us! :-)
17:48 March 30, 2012 by Subroto Sarkar
Strike has been called after warning. So there is nothing wrong in it. But the demand for the amount needs justification. IS it related to rise in price structure. Economist should answer this. If the demand is legitimate authorities are bound by humanitarian grounds. The net result passenger has to bear the increase. If passenger decreases lay off is the only choice left to management to meet the two ends. So first let the union justify their demanded figure first.
09:55 March 31, 2012 by HerLinder
I wonder if the execs. have their pay raised only if it is justified? it would seem that if that is the case then all the bankers should be fired and the government monitors who did not monitor them should be fired, and the elected officials who decided that it was wise to deregulate banks should be fired, and on ad nauseum..
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