German air traffic controllers set to strike

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German air traffic controllers were set to strike for six hours Tuesday, at the height of the holiday season, to back demands for higher pay after a court authorised their industrial action.

But the agency responsible for air traffic, the Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), immediately appealed the ruling to a higher court and an injunction against the strike could still be issued late Monday.

An earlier strike, planned for last week, was called off at the last minute because of a similar court decision.

The GdF union meanwhile said its members would stop work at 0400 GMT Tuesday and resume six hours later.

Members are demanding a 6.5 percent wage increase.

The DFS has accused GdF union representatives of rejecting its offer for further negotiations, while the union said it would not sit down for talks until a new pay offer was made.

Controllers earn between 72,000 and 130,000 euros ($104,000 and 187,000) per year, according to employers.

Airlines said they feared major delays Tuesday in the middle of the brisk August travel season.

© 2011 AFP

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