A strike by workers of Argentina's two largest airlines is causing the cancellation of dozens of flights, grounding of thousands of passengers.

The 24-hour stoppage began early Tuesday. Unions representing state-run carrier Aerolineas Argentinas and sister company Austral Lineas Aereas are demanding a 26 percent salary hike in line with the inflation rate.

The Telam state news agency says that about 40,000 people have been affected and 300 flights have been canceled at the Jorge Newbery airport in Buenos Aires.

The president of the Aerolineas Argentinas group is criticizing the unions representing the workers and says that the company might take legal action.

Union secretary general Ruben Fernandez tells local news media that the unions will likely stage other strikes if their demands are not met.