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BERLIN: Germany’s Verdi trade union has called for strikes on Monday (Mar 13) at the country’s northern airports, including Berlin, which it said would likely cause longer queues for passengers and flight cancellations.

The strikes will affect Berlin’s international airport, as well as the smaller airports of Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen, the relevant regional branches of the services sector trade union said on Saturday in separate statements.

Verdi said it was calling for security staff to strike at Berlin airport due to disputes over pay for working nights, weekends and bank holidays that had been going on for years.

The strike at the airport servicing airlines including Lufthansa, easyJet and Air France-KLM would start in the early hours and finish late at night.

It will be 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.

“Verdi calls for appropriate pay for flight security personnel who are working at unfavourable times,” it said in a statement. “Supplements have not been improved since 2006, and we have been on and off negotiating a raise ever since 2013”.

The Hamburg branch of Verdi said it was also striking over the regular pay rise offered to public sector employees of 2 per cent for the next 27 months and one-off payments of €1,500 and €1,000, which it said was not enough given annual inflation running at around 9 per cent.

“Many families have lost a lot of money in the past years due to inflation and coronavirus,” said Lars Stubbe, Verdi representative in Hamburg.

Late last month, the majority of flights at Germany’s Duesseldorf and Cologne Bonn regional airports were grounded by a 24-hour strike by Verdi.