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Hundreds of flights hit as German, French workers strike

April 10, 2018

Members of the ver.di union with a banner reading: ' We are worth it.' attend a rally as part of a public sector pay strike in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Strikes by German public sector workers and French airline staff forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in Europe on Tuesday as unions demand better pay.

The planned walk-outs in German also affected public transport, nursery schools and municipal administrations.

German carrier Lufthansa cancelled some 800 flights at Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt, as well as Munich, Cologne-Bonn and Bremen.

The ver.di union says Germany’s healthy economy is filling public coffers with record tax income and public workers deserve a cut.

It wants a 6 percent pay rise — at least 200 euros ($245) per month — for some 2.3 million public sector employees, including airport ground crews, bus drivers and hospital staff.

In France, a quarter of Air France flights were cancelled Tuesday as pilots, ground staff and others went on strike, also demanding a 6 percent pay rise after years of salary freezes.

It was the sixth such Air France strike since February, and unions plan further walkouts in the coming weeks alongside French train worker strikes over President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms.

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