Court rejects airline strike compensation plea

A German court threw out on Monday a lawsuit by two airlines and the operator of Frankfurt airport for compensation from a labour union to cover losses incurred by strike action by some of its members last year.

Court rejects airline strike compensation plea
Photo: DPA

Frankfurt’s labour court rejected an application from airlines Lufthansa, Air Berlin and airport operator Fraport for €9.2 million in compensation from the air traffic controllers’ union GdF.

The companies had sued the GdF after airport tarmac workers – who direct aircraft in and out of their parking positions from the control tower and on the tarmac – staged a series of walkouts in February 2012 over demands for higher pay and bonuses and reduced working hours.

The court ruled that the airlines were not entitled to compensation because the union’s planned strike actions had not targeted the airlines themselves, but the air traffic controllers’ employers, the DFS, in a pay dispute.

The court said the airlines can appeal its ruling.


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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.