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Court ends Frankfurt Airport strike

The Local · 29 Feb 2012, 16:07

Published: 29 Feb 2012 07:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2012 16:07 GMT+01:00

Judge Matthias Kreutzberg-Kowalczyk granted an application for an injunction filed by airport operator Fraport and German airline Lufthansa against walkouts by apron control staff, who have been striking since February 16 over demands for higher pay.

The GdF union of air traffic workers said it would appeal the ruling, which obliges workers to call off industrial action that had initially been scheduled to run until Thursday.

The court had on Tuesday also banned air traffic controllers from walking off the job in support of the strikers.

Some 200 apron controllers, who direct aircraft in and out of their parking slots from the control tower and on the tarmac, have caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights a day over the past two weeks in an increasingly bitter dispute over higher pay and bonuses as well as reduced working hours.

"We will appeal both decisions," GdF chief Michael Schaefer told news agency AFP.

"But first of all, we have to halt our industrial action and we're in talks with Fraport about the resumption of work," he said.

Following an initial five days of walkouts, the 200 tarmac employees returned to work a week ago after agreeing to hold new talks with management. But those new negotiations quickly broke down amid bitter recriminations, and this week hundreds more flights have been grounded.

Fraport insists it had made concessions "on many points in the union's extremely high demands."

Fraport has said it has been able to ensure that around 80 percent of flights have taken off and landed, with domestic and short-haul flights being primarily hit by the action.

Story continues below…

Frankfurt Airport, Germany's main hub, is Europe's third busiest after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, handling around 1,200 take-offs and landings daily.


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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

07:58 February 29, 2012 by McM

Maybe they should also ship in some Greek airport staff who are having a quiet tourist year and would appreciate a few Euros to spice up the whole greedy episode.
11:14 February 29, 2012 by wood artist
Good point, MoM.

Greeks could use the work, and if they pay their taxes, they'd be helped Greece AND Germany at the same time. A win-win if there ever was one. Well, maybe not for the guys on strike, but they could be at work if they wished.

11:27 February 29, 2012 by ERAUst
I was wondering how long it was going to take before there was some court action. Good that they put a stop to this escalating out of control.
14:36 February 29, 2012 by michael4096
I am not an economist, but do I know that if supply goes down and demand increases then the cost goes up. Which is what is happening with labour in Germany. This gives employers the option to forestall incidents like this by swapping small pay increases for no strike agreements. Or, they can create a major battle and make customers angry.

I don't know the details of this tiff, but I do expect many more in the months to come.
05:24 March 1, 2012 by taiwanluthiers
Maybe increase immigration and allow open work (like employers don't need the government's permission to employ someone, from any country), to increase competition so that strikes don't happen out of the blue.

Transportation workers in Taiwan work harder for much less pay and they don't strike. I mean workers from Foxconn, Asus, Acer, etc. should have struck a long time ago but they don't, and Taiwan doesn't have stupid laws like China where you would go to jail if you started a union, and in Taiwan we had workers die from overwork too.
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