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Workers at four German airports strike over pay

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - 01:21

Ground staff at Berlin's two commercial airports as well as in Hamburg and Stuttgart have staged a temporary strike in a dispute over pay. As Ivor Bennett reports, it's the latest in a series of industrial disputes disrupting services at German airports.

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It's an all too familiar sight for some in Germany at the moment. This time the airport disruption was due to strike action by ground staff at Berlin's two commercial airports. 156 flights were cancelled. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TRAVELLER FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, LACHLAN BRANCOUYT, SAYING: "This is my first time overseas. We've just been on a three-week trip around Europe and it's been pretty good and I was pretty excited to get home and all that. And now it's just like, not happy." The six hour walkout over pay also disrupted services at Hamburg and Stuttgart airports. (SOUNDBITE) (German) "VERDI" UNION NEGOTIATOR, ENRICO RUEMKER, SAYING: "The basic wage is 10 euros 30 cents and most of our employees make between 11 and 12 euros so we want one more euro per hour." But after a series of strikes by staff at Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa the patience of some travellers is wearing thin. (SOUNDBITE) (German) TRAVELLER AND CANADIAN BUSINESSMAN, AYMAN RAFAEL, SAYING: "We've all had to cut back. I'm making less profit from the products I'm selling because I know if I ask for more, no one will buy them. The people at Lufthansa or elsewhere should think about whether it's better to have a job than no job." That's not putting off these union members though - 2,000 took part in the industrial action.

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Workers at four German airports strike over pay

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - 01:21