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Security staff at German airports stage strike over pay dispute

By Sheetal Sukhija, Central America News
12 Jan 2019, 02 GMT+10

BERLIN, Germany - With the security staff at German airports staging a strike as part of a pay dispute, several flights were forced to be grounded on Thursday.

The strike, which was announced in advance, caused more than 640 flights to be cancelled, in airports in western Germany.

The country's third-largest airport in Dusseldorf saw two-thirds of flights being cancelled, which affected about 60,000 passengers there.

The strikes also caused disruption to passengers at airports in Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.

According to the public sector union Verdi, security staff are demanding a pay rise to 20 euros ($23) per hour, from the present rate of 17 euros.

The union, which is negotiating with the airports on behalf of 23,000 security workers in the country, said that the strike was part of the efforts by the workers to pressurize the management into holding wage talks.

The Airports said in a statement that out of 1,054 scheduled flights in total, 643 were canceled through the day.

Other reports noted that 350 out of 570 planned flights were cancelled in Dusseldorf, while 130 out of 200 flights were cancelled in Cologne and 142 out of 270 were cancelled in Stuttgart.

Earlier this week, about 50 flights were cancelled at Berlin's Tegel and Schonefeld airports when security staff went on strike.

The airports affected in the recent strikes said that many of their passengers were affected and several faced significant delays at security checkpoints.

Reports noted that on an average, 115,000 passengers pass through the airports each day.

Verdi has stated that wage talks are set to resume on January 23.

Andrea Becker, a spokeswoman for the union said in a statement, "After five days of talks, the negotiations have come to a standstill ... and thats why we thought it was necessary to make a move with these warning strikes today."

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