Frankfurt Airport faces delays and cancellations during staff strikes

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on February 16, 2012

Frankfurt Airport, the third busiest international hub in Europe, is expecting delays and flight cancellations once ground workers leave their jobs in disputes over pay and general working conditions.

GdF, a union which represents employees in air traffic control, made calls for workers that oversee operations on the airport’s tarmac to officially go on strike from 1500 to 2200 today, as well as from 0800 to 2200 tomorrow. GdF is currently locked in a dispute with the hub’s operator Fraport over the salaries of 200 ground workers.

Fraport spokesman Juergen Harrer commented that the main goal of the airport is to make sure that at least half of the flights scheduled during the strikes can still go on as planned, as other employees and any ground workers that aren’t on strike will be able to take over duties. Harrer added that Frankport Airport officials will simply have to assume that flight delays and cancellations are imminent as a result of the strikes.

The double-digit pay increase that has been demanded by GdF was branded as absolutely unacceptable by Harrer, who went on to say that just a small bunch of workers is pushing its excessive demands onto the backs of Frankfurt Airport’s passengers, while also making life difficult for fellow workers. GdF was demanded by Harrer to head back to the negotiating table immediately in order to work out a compromise. Thus far, GdF has made no further comment on the matter.

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