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Flights cancelled as security staff strike at Frankfurt airport

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - APRIL 22:  A sign informs customers at a Lufthansa counter during a nationwide strike by Lufthansa ground, service and maintenance personnel at Frankfurt Airport on April 22, 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany. Workers are demaning pay raises and job guarantees and today's strike has forced Lufthansa to cancel approximately 1700 flights.  (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - APRIL 22: A sign informs customers at a Lufthansa counter during a nationwide strike by Lufthansa ground, service and maintenance personnel at Frankfurt Airport on April 22, 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany. Workers are demaning pay raises and job guarantees and today's strike has forced Lufthansa to cancel approximately 1700 flights. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - APRIL 22: A sign informs customers at a Lufthansa counter during a nationwide strike by Lufthansa ground, service and maintenance personnel at Frankfurt Airport on April 22, 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany. Workers are demaning pay raises and job guarantees and today's strike has forced Lufthansa to cancel approximately 1700 flights. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

Security workers at Frankfurt airport went on strike on Friday, prompting dozens of flight cancellations and causing delays to travellers passing through Europe's third-largest hub.

Union Verdi had called on security staff employed by private firms grouped under the BDSW banner to strike from 0100 GMT until 2200 GMT in a bid to achieve higher pay.

That means far fewer staff at areas like security checks, leading to delays for passengers trying to board planes.

Airport operator Fraport, which is drafting in extra staff to help manage the queues, said around 41 flights had so far been cancelled and more could be expected.

Airline Lufthansa cancelled around 35 flights, mostly to destinations within Germany that can also be reached by train.

The union is calling for a hourly pay rate of €16 for security employees in the state of Hesse and said employers had offered between €10 and €13 an hour. Workers in other states get up to around €15 a hour, it said.

The BDSW has said it cannot meet Verdi's demands for immediate pay rises of up to 30 percent in some cases.

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