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Berlin airport grinds to a halt as security workers strike over pay

Germany’s Berlin-Brandenburg airport has cancelled around 300 flights as security staff began a full-day walkout over an ongoing dispute over pay and work conditions.

Berlin Brandenburg airport announced on Saturday that it had cancelled all flight departures on Monday and said that landings would also be affected after the Verdi union called on security workers to stage a one-day strike to raise the pressure in wage talks.

The strike began at 3.30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) and is set to continue until midnight (2200 GMT), according to the Verdi trade union.

“Due to the announced warning strike at the aviation security controls, no departures are possible today,” the airport operator said in a statement.

“Arriving flights may also be affected by cancellations and changes to the flight schedule may occur due to the warning strike,” it added.

Another airport spokesperson said roughly 240 flights had been scheduled to take off.

Passengers were advised to contact their airline or travel agent for information on rebooking and alternative travel options.

Demand to increase pay

The union, which staged several strikes last week at other major airports, is demanding an increase in overtime pay, and surcharges for work on weekends, public holidays, and during night shifts.

The latest round of negotiations between the union and the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) to push for pay increases for nights, weekends and public holiday shifts failed to make any significant progress earlier this month.

A new round of negotiations is expected to take place on April 27 and 28.

Europe’s biggest economy has seen some of the most disruptive strikes in decades this year as unions press for higher wages to offset the surging cost of living.

Last week, airports in Duesseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne Bonn and Stuttgart were hit by strikes.

READ MORE: Labour strikes bring Germany’s railways, airports to a standstill

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