Tens of thousands to be affected as strikes hit six German airports

Ten of thousands of people will be affected on Wednesday by ground personnel strikes at six German airports including the country's main hub in Frankfurt, carriers Lufthansa and Air Berlin said.

The strike action, which will include staff in mechanical workshops, ground services and air safety control, will cause cancellations and delays at Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund and Hanover airports, the carriers said late Monday.

Verdi - one of Germany's biggest labour unions - has organized the industrial action in order to increase the pressure in an ongoing battle with local and federal governments over public sector wages. The union is pushing for a 6-per-cent rise.

"Employers should review their stance and their offer, so that a solution can be found during the third round of negotiations on Thursday and Friday," Frank Bsirski, the head of Verdi, told local newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten on Tuesday.

Lufthansa said that all long-haul flights to and from Munich, as well as some European and domestic flights would be cancelled, adding that the majority of long-haul flights to and from Frankfurt would not be affected. Air transport would resume as normal at 3 pm (1300 GMT).

Lufthansa passengers on domestic flights were being given the option of rail tickets free of charge, irrespective of whether or not their flight will be affected by the strikes, the company said.

Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, said passengers affected by the strikes could change their flight free of charge to any date between April 28 and May 4.

In November, Lufthansa flight attendants staged the longest and most expensive strike in the company's history, costing the company an estimated 140 million euros (158,000 dollars).

Last update: Tue, 26/04/2016 - 10:54
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