Strike Blocking Some German Canals Set To Spread, Union Says

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July 8, 2013

File photo of the 28.3 mile Rhine–Herne Canal.

reuters logoHAMBURG, July 8 (Reuters) – A strike by canal workers that has blocked cargo shipping in west and south Germany is set to spread to other parts of the country, the trade union leading the dispute said on Monday.

The Ver.di union wants wage and other guarantees for employees at WSA, Germany’s inland navigation authority, after the government said it planned to reform the agency.

Shipping was either restricted or blocked on sections of rivers and canals on Monday including the Rhine-Herne canal, Danube, Main, Ruhr, Danube-Main connection canal, Neckar, Dortmund-Ems canal and Wesel-Datteln canal, the WSA said.

Ver.di said the strike involved WSA personnel in Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia and would continue “for several days.”

On Tuesday, lock personnel in Lower Saxony, Bremen and Bavaria are set to join the strike, a Ver.di spokesman added. All three regions are major centres for inland cargo shipping. (Reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg, Jessica Donati and Ron Bousso in London; editing by James Jukwey and Mark Potter)

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