Flights across Germany hit due to ground workers strike
BERLIN - Lufthansa and Air Berlin, two of Germany's biggest airlines, scrapped more than 460 flights worldwide Tuesday due to a strike by baggage handlers and security staff at the country's main airports.
Workers at several German airports joined other public sector employees in staging short-term warning strikes in a pay dispute.
Public service workers' union Verdi is demanding a 6.5 per cent pay increase this year for its 2 million federal and municipal government employees. It has rejected the government's offer of a 3.3 per cent hike over two years.
The warning strikes by the workers come ahead of the next round of pay talks, due to begin Wednesday.
German flag carrier Lufthansa said it was cancelling around 400 flights due to the strike Tuesday, mostly at Germanys biggest airport, Frankfurt.
The airports across Germany hit by the strikes include Berlin, Stuttgart and Hanover.
The strikes have also affected kindergartens, trash-collection, power stations, hospitals and public offices across Germany this month.
Frankfurt airport, Europe's third-busiest after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, handles 140,000 to 150,000 passengers daily.
Lufthansa has cancelled flights from cities including Copenhagen, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Rome, Stockholm and Tel Aviv to German destinations, as well as outbound flights to cities such as Abu Dhabi, Detroit, Kuwait, Mumbai, New Delhi and Orlando.
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