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Strikes at German regional airports ground majority of flights

By:
Reuters
Updated: Feb 27, 2023, 09:05 UTC

BERLIN (Reuters) - More than 300 flights at Germany's Duesseldorf and Cologne Bonn regional airports were grounded by a 24-hour strike by the Verdi trade union on Monday, the airports said.

24-hour strike by German trade union Verdi in Frankfurt

BERLIN (Reuters) -The majority of flights at Germany’s Duesseldorf and Cologne Bonn regional airports were grounded by a 24-hour strike by the Verdi trade union on Monday, the airports said.

The Duesseldorf airport on Monday said only 89 flights of a planned 330 were taking place while 29 were diverted to other airports and seven were rescheduled for the next day.

Of Monday’s usual 136 daily passenger flights scheduled for Cologne Bonn airport, only two were set to operate as scheduled.

It is the latest in a series of strikes and protests that have hit major European economies, including France, Britain and Spain, as higher food and energy prices knock incomes and living standards after the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.

“If the employers continue to be obstructionist and do not present us with results, then the reaction of the employees here is clear,” a Verdi spokesperson said at Cologne Bonn airport.

Verdi announced the strike on Friday after it said collective bargaining efforts for public service workers and aviation security workers had failed to come closer to an agreement.

The airports, which service airlines including Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Aegean Airlines, were largely empty because passengers had been informed of the strike in time to change their plans.

The union brought air traffic to a standstill earlier this month with one-day strikes at seven major airports, including the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, affecting nearly 300,000 passengers.

Cities across the western state of North Rhine Westphalia, including Cologne, Leverkusen and Bonn, were also affected by public service worker strikes on Monday.

An agreement in negotiations on behalf of more than 2.5 million employees of the federal government and local authorities is a long way off, Verdi says.

Verdi and the German Civil Service Association are demanding 10.5% more pay for state employees, or at least 500 euros ($527.75) more a month.

($1 = 0.9474 euros)

(Writing by Miranda Murray and Friederike HeineEditing by Matthias Williams and David Goodman)

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