BERLIN Ground staff at Berlin's two airports will start a 25-hour strike on Friday morning over a pay claim, union Verdi said, stepping up action after several strikes in recent weeks that have forced the cancellation of more than 300 flights.
Workers will walk out at 4 am local time (0300 GMT) on Friday and end the strike at about 0400 GMT on Saturday, Verdi said.
The stoppage, expected after 98.6 percent of balloted workers at Schoenefeld and Tegel airports last week backed industrial action, coincides with the world's biggest tourism trade fair, which ends in Berlin on March 12.
The ITB fair attracted 120,000 trade visitors last year.
Verdi wants an increase in pay for ground staff to 12 euros an hour from about 11 euros as part of a one-year collective agreement.
Carriers including Air Berlin (AB1.DE), Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) serve the two airports.
EasyJet said late on Thursday that it needs to cancel 90 flights on Friday at Schoenefeld and is bracing for delays on other flights at the airport southeast of central Berlin.
Ground staff jobs include checking in passengers, loading and unloading planes and directing aircraft on the tarmac.
(Writing by Madeline Chambers; Additional reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by John Stonestreet and David Goodman)