News24

Frankfurt airport strike extended

2012-02-20 10:01

Frankfurt - Ground staff at Frankfurt Airport extended a 24-hour strike set to begin on Monday to 48 hours, their union said, as airport operator Fraport AG said up to 70% of the 1 250 flights planned on the strike's first day would operate.

The strike, the latest by union members demanding better pay and working conditions, is to begin at 05:00 (local time) on Monday and last until 05:00 on Wednesday, Markus Siebers, an official with the union, Gewerkschaft der Flugsicherung, said late on Sunday.

About 200 ground controllers, who direct planes in and out of parking spaces, are to stay off the job over the 48 hours at Europe's third-largest airport.

The airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG said it alone would cancel about 200 takeoffs and landings in the first 24 hours. Long-haul flights, however, would not be affected, a Lufthansa spokesperson said.

Fraport said it was prepared for a further strike. Personnel had been trained to replace the striking workers, a spokesperson said on Sunday.

The ground staff held a seven-hour strike on Thursday and eight-hour work stoppage on Friday, resulting in the cancellations of 301 flights alone on the second day.

The union criticised Fraport for not budging during the negotiations while Fraport said the union was being stubborn and it was prepared to talk if the union ends its strikes and is willing to compromise.

The strikes have been criticised by other labour groups at the airport, which employs 20 000 people.