Strike by ground staff closes Berlin airports

A strike by ground staff forced the closure of both of Berlin’s airports early today and caused the cancellation of more than 20 flights.

A strike by ground staff forced the closure of both of Berlin’s airports early today and caused the cancellation of more than 20 flights.

The ver.di union called out ground workers at the capital’s Tegel and Schoenefeld airports for three-and-a-half hours starting at 6am (0500 Irish time).

The airports had to be closed because the workers who walked out included fire officers, airport spokesman Eberhard Eli said.

Twenty of the 50 flights that were due to take off from Tegel during the strike were cancelled and the rest delayed, Eli said. At Schoenefeld, three were cancelled and 17 delayed.

Brief “warning strikes” such as the one ver.di staged today are used regularly as a tactic to increase pressure in German wage negotiations.

Ver.di is seeking an 8% pay rise for some 1,500 ground workers and accuses the airport operator of failing so far to come up with an acceptable offer.

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