German lock workers strike may block some canals

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 05, 2013 4:10 AM

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Several canals in Germany will be partially blocked to cargo shipping this week due to renewed strikes by lock operators, German trade union Ver.di said on Monday.

The strikes, set to last the rest of the week, are in protest against government plans to restructure the German inland navigation authority WSA.

Traders said they did not expect the strikes to cause widespread disruption and that shipment delays were likely to be local and restricted to smaller canals.

Lock personnel will strike in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia from Monday to Friday and strike in Lower Saxony and Bremen from Monday to Wednesday, Ver.di said.

Ver.di is calling for wage and other guarantees for WSA employees after the government said it planned to reform the agency with heavy job losses.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Mark Potter)