German air traffic controllers call strike

AP News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2011 11:55 AM
German air traffic controllers call strike

The union representing Germany's air traffic controllers called Tuesday for them to stage a six-hour walkout later this week in a pay dispute. The national air traffic authority said it would seek a court order blocking the strike.

The GdF union called for a walkout between 6 a.m. and noon (0400-1000 GMT) on Thursday, declaring that the latest offer from employers was unacceptable and negotiations are at a point where there is "no alternative to a strike."

GdF has been seeking a one-year wage deal with a 6.5 percent pay increase.

It rejected as insufficient the latest offer from Germany's air traffic control authority _ a longer-term deal involving a lower raise _ maintaining that it wouldn't even compensate for the effects of inflation.

The call for a strike on Thursday came a day after the union released results of a ballot of members conducted over recent weeks that showed an overwhelming majority backing a walkout.

Germany's air traffic control authority has some 6,000 employees.

The authority's personnel director, Jens Bergmann, said it would seek a court injunction preventing Thursday's walkout, news agency dapd reported.

The authority also could ward off strikes, at least for now, by taking the dispute to arbitration.