German airport strike grounds jets

Empty departure gates, 10 Jan 19 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Departure gates are deserted at Düsseldorf airport

German airports have cancelled more than 600 flights because of a strike by security staff in a pay dispute.

The strike centres on airports in western Germany: Düsseldorf (the country's third-largest), Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.

In Düsseldorf about 60,000 passengers are affected, with two-thirds of flights cancelled, ARD TV reports.

The Verdi union wants a pay rise to €20 (£18; $23) per hour for security staff, from the present rate of €17.

ARD says many travellers had time to make alternative arrangements, as the strike had been announced in advance. Security staff are reported to be very angry over their working conditions.

German media say 350 out of 570 planned flights have been cancelled in Düsseldorf; in Cologne 130 out of 200 flights are cancelled, and in Stuttgart 142 out of 270.

About 50 flights were cancelled when security staff went on strike at Berlin's Tegel and Schönefeld airports on Monday.

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