Strike brings Berlin airports to standstill

Berlin's two main airports were brought to a complete standstill on Tuesday as a three-and-a-half hour strike by ground staff forced their closure.
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Updated on Feb 24, 2009 01:56 PM IST
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AFP | By, Berlin

Berlin's two main airports were brought to a complete standstill on Tuesday as a three-and-a-half hour strike by ground staff forced their closure.

An airport spokesman told AFP that around 100 international and domestic flights were either cancelled or delayed at Tegel airport and approximately 36 flights at Schoenefeld airport.

Aircraft were unable to take off or land as fire officers were among those participating in the strike, set to run from 0500 GMT to 0830 GMT.

The ground staff's union, Verdi, launched the strike to increase pressure in wage negotiations with the airport operator. The union is pressing for an eight-percent pay rise for its 1,500 employees.

The airport operator's counter-offer amounts to a rise of 2.6 per cent plus a one-off payment of 1,250 euros (1,593 dollars). Talks were set to resume later on Tuesday.

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