Security staff to strike at German airports on Thursday - union

BERLIN (Reuters) - Security staff will stage strikes at airports across Germany on Thursday, including the country's biggest hub in Frankfurt, the Verdi union said on Tuesday, as it raises pressure on the government in wage talks.

Europe's biggest economy has been hit by a series of disruptive and costly stoppages affecting air and rail travel as workers demand higher wages to cope with the impact of inflation.

The one-day strike is planned at airports including Hamburg; Bremen; Hanover; Berlin; Cologne; Duesseldorf; Leipzig, Dresden; Erfurt; Frankfurt and Stuttgart, said Verdi, adding it was targeting both freight and passengers. It was unclear how many flights would be affected.

Public sector union Verdi is negotiating on behalf of 25,000 workers in the aviation security sector. It wants a 2.80 euro ($3.03) pay rise per hour and more generous overtime pay over 12 months.

"Our goal is to compensate for the loss of purchasing power among employees in the long term," said Verdi lead negotiator Wolfgang Pieper.

"Work for aviation security staff must remain financially attractive so that the urgently needed skilled labour can be recruited and retained," he added.

Verdi said employers had offered a pay rise of 4% for this year and a further 3% for next year but that this was "wholly inadequate".

Talks are due to take place on Feb. 6 and 7.

On top of the industrial action at airports, Verdi plans a separate public transport strike for Friday across 15 of Germany's 16 states. Germany's GDL train divers walked out for five days last week in their months-long dispute over pay and working conditions.

Sources in the aviation had earlier confirmed German media reports about the strikes.

($1 = 0.9228 euros)

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; writing by Rachel More and Madeline Chambers; editing by Matthias Williams and Sharon Singleton)