German public sector strikes to hit air travel on Tuesday

Frankfurt, above, and Munich airports are the two biggest hubs for Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline. (Reuters)
Updated 09 April 2018
0

German public sector strikes to hit air travel on Tuesday

BERLIN: German public-sector workers will extend strikes to airports across the country, labor union Verdi said on Monday, predicting flight disruption as it seeks to increase pressure in pay talks.
Verdi, which is asking for a 6 percent pay rise for around 2.3 million employees in various public-sector roles across Germany, said ground staff and some fire services staff would be on strike on Tuesday at Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Bremen airports.
Frankfurt and Munich are the two biggest hubs for Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline.
Verdi said the strike at Frankfurt airport would run from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time (0300-1600 GMT) on Tuesday and involve security staff, as well as workers who load and unload planes.
Frankfurt airport operator Fraport warned passengers to expect significant disruption on Tuesday. A spokeswoman said security checkpoints would likely have to be closed due to the strike.
Similar strikes four years ago led to hundreds of flight cancelations at Germany’s largest airport, particularly on short haul flights.
Public transport, swimming pools, garbage collection, and childcare facilities are also areas that have been targeted by strike action in the latest pay dispute.
A third round of pay talks is scheduled for April 15 and 16.
“Employers have not yet put forward an offer. With strikes and industrial action, employees are increasing the pressure on employers to end their blocking tactics,” Verdi boss Frank Bsirske said in a statement.


Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

Updated 39 min ago
0

Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

  • It is the first guilty plea to result from a three-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into suspected bribery and money laundering
  • Unaoil is a Monaco-based oil and gas firm

LONDON: The former partner in Iraq for Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil and gas consultancy, has pleaded guilty to five counts of bribery in the first conviction in a three-year criminal investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Basil Al Jarah, 70, pleaded guilty on July 15 to conspiring to give corrupt payments in connection with the award of contracts to supply and install single point moorings and oil pipelines in southern Iraq, the SFO said.
Al Jarah’s conviction, which comes six months before three other defendants in the case face a criminal trial in London, was announced after a judge lifted reporting restrictions in a pre-trial hearing on Friday, the SFO said.
Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s former territory manager for Iraq and Stephen Whiteley and Paul Bond, who worked for Dutch-based oil and gas services company SBM (Offshore), have pleaded not guilty.
Akle, 44, has been charged with three offenses of conspiracy to make corrupt payments. Bond, a 67-year-old former senior sales manager with SBM (Offshore), and Whiteley, a 64-year-old former vice president of SBM (Offshore) and one-time Unaoil general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola, each face two counts.
Sam Healey, a lawyer at JMW Solicitors who is representing Whiteley, said his client “strenuously denied” all alleged offenses.
“Mr Whiteley co-operated fully with the SFO as they opened their enquiries and will rigorously defend the charges,” he said.
Lawyers for Al Jarah and Bond declined to comment. A lawyer for Akle was not immediately available for comment.
A spokeswoman for Unaoil declined to comment, while SBM Offshore has said it is company policy to not comment on past or current employees.