HAMBURG Aug 22 Cargo shipping on various rivers
and canals in Germany was again disrupted on Thursday, German
inland navigation agency WSA said, as workers operating locks
resumed strikes in protest over planned job cuts.
The Ver.di trade union has called repeated short strikes
since July in protest against government plans to restructure
the WSA with heavy job losses.
A Ver.di spokesman said strikes of differing periods spread
around several German regions would take place up to 0400 GMT on
Saturday. The longest strikes would be in the state of North
Rhine-Westphalia, which includes the industrial Ruhr region.
"There will then be a pause but it is not known for how
long," the spokesman said.
Strikes caused disruption on Thursday to shipping on rivers
and canals including the Main, Saar, Dortmund-Ems, Rhine-Herne
and Weser-Datteln canal, the WSA said.
Ver.di is calling for the German government to give wage and
other guarantees to WSA employees. The union fears 3,000 of the
agency's 12,000 jobs could be cut under the planned
Traders said the impact of the dispute was growing.
"Strikes are taking place for several hours at a time, for a
day or half day, and queues of ships are building up," one grain
trader said. "Then the locks are opened and the jam clears, but
overall the strike is causing delays rather than serious
A German-based oil distillates broker said the strike "has
impacted a lot of ships."
Some 30 ships or more are stuck near Heidelberg/Mannheim,
the broker said.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan and Claire Milhench; Editing by