Mon, Feb 27, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Airfield workers resume strike at Frankfurt Airport

Reuters, FRANKFURT

Airfield workers at Frankfurt Airport were to resume their strike for five days yesterday after their representatives and airport operator Fraport failed to reach a pay deal late on Friday, trade union GdF said on Saturday.

GdF said in a statement the strike would last until 0400 GMT on Thursday.

Frankfurt airport is Europe’s third-busiest after London’s Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, with about 1,300 flight movements per day, more than half of them by Lufthansa .

After the pay talks collapsed on Friday, Fraport dismissed GdF’s demand as unjustified and unacceptable, while GdF blamed Fraport for making an offer lower than the original one from before the mediation process.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said late on Saturday that, like with the previous walkouts, long-haul flights would be given priority and a list of today’s flight cancellations would be available on its Web site from yesterday afternoon.

“As the strike begins late, we expect minimal impact for Sunday, with virtually no cancellations. For Monday we expect there will be some cancellations if a strike does go ahead,” he said.

Lufthansa was the worst hit by the strikes that started on Feb. 16 and ran until Wednesday, with a break over the weekend.

The strike had been due to run until Friday, but was broken off on Wednesday after Fraport wrote to the union offering talks.

The workers affected were about 200 ground crew who guide aircraft to parking positions.

Just over 1,000 flights have been canceled since last Thursday, the vast majority of them from Lufthansa, which has mostly scrapped European services to give priority to intercontinental travelers.

Lufthansa has said the first four days of the strike have so far cost it a high double-digit million euro sum in turnover.

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