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April 26, 2016

Mass strikes at major German airports disrupt passenger experience

Public service workers in Germany's major airports are participating in mass strikes to demand higher wages.

By Lopamudra Roy

Public service workers in Germany’s major airports are participating in mass strikes to demand higher wages.

Led by German labour union Verdi, the strikes will see participation from security, fire-fighting, ground service and check-in staff.

The strikes will allegedly disrupt the travel experience of about 80,000 passengers at airports in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Hannover, Frankfurt and Munich.

As a result of the announcement, German airline Deutsche Lufthansa has cancelled 895 flights, which is equivalent to approximately 60% of its daily traffic.

As stated by German airport operator Fraport, it will take a couple of days for services to return to normal at the airports.

Lufthansa has cancelled its intercontinental flights as well as some domestic and European flights, while Air Berlin has scrapped all domestic flights in Germany.

"I hope that this signal will be understood and that an agreement will be reached in the third round (of talks) on Thursday and Friday."

Air Berlin has cancelled its services to Munich Airport, which has had 700 service cancellations overall.

Frankfurt Airport suffered 392 cancellations, while only 173 of total 276 flights were operational at Cologne Airport.

Verdi chief Frank Bsirske was quoted by Reuters as saying: "I hope that this signal will be understood and that an agreement will be reached in the third round (of talks) on Thursday and Friday."

The labour union expects a 6% wage increase for 2.1 million public service staff across the country, as well as a €100 pay raise per month for trainees.

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