Union calls for Lufthansa ground staff at major German airports to strike on Wednesday

BERLIN — A union has called on Lufthansa’s ground staff to walk off the job for a day on Wednesday in a pay dispute, the latest of several transport strikes in the country.

The Ver.di union said Monday it is calling on ground staff for the German airline at Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Duesseldorf airports to strike from 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The union is seeking a 12.5% pay raise, or at least an extra 500 euros ($539) per month, in negotiations for nearly 25,000 employees, including check-in, aircraft handling, maintenance and freight staff.

Lufthansa said it is working on a special timetable and criticized the scale of the strike early in the dispute.

Coinciding contract negotiations in the rail, air and local transport sectors have made for a frustrating few weeks for travelers and commuters in Germany.

Ver.di last Thursday called security workers at most of Germany’s major airports out on a one-day strike that prompted widespread flight cancellations. On Friday, it staged a walkout that led to local buses, trams and subway trains being canceled in much of Germany. Such several-hour or one-day “warning strikes” are a common tactic in German contract negotiations.

The German railway system is involved in a dispute that centers on a train drivers’ union’s demand for a shorter working week.

After a five-day strike last month, the GDL union has returned to talks with the state-owned main railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, and has agreed not to stage further strikes before March 3.

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