BERLIN Feb 16 Around 200 flights were cancelled
ahead of a strike over pay by ground staff at Berlin's two
airports expected to start later on Thursday.
There were 146 cancellations at Tegel and 54 at Schoenefeld
airports and 12 flights were redirected to other German
airports, a spokesman for Berlin's airports said.
Trade union Verdi has called for walk-outs at the two
airports from 1500 GMT to 2100 GMT. A strike on Wednesday last
week led to more than 130 flights being cancelled.
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. Ground staff jobs include checking in passengers,
loading and unloading planes and directing them on the tarmac.
The union described as "insufficient" management's offer of
a four-year deal, which foresees a rise of 1 percent each year,
or about 10 cents an hour.
The employers, a group of airport ground services providers,
said in a statement the renewed strike was "incomprehensible" as
talks were still ongoing. The next round of pay talks is due to
take place on Friday.
Berlin's airports are served by carriers including Air
Berlin, Lufthansa, easyJet and
Ryanair among others.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Writing by Maria Sheahan. Editing
by Jane Merriman)