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Nearly 300 Flights Grounded in Frankfurt

A strike by 200 workers of the GdF trade union has resulted in the cancelation of nearly 300 flights at the Frankfurt Airport on Friday alone.  Most of the canceled flights were those of Lufthansa, with 172 flights canceled on Thursday and more than 280 canceled on Friday.  The strike on Thursday was called for 14:00-21:00 and on Friday it was called for 7:00-21:00.
Frankfurt has the third largest airport in Europe, with the two largest being London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.  The airport employees more than 70,000 people and saw 56 million passengers come through its terminals in 2011.
Workers will be back to the job for the weekend, but next weekend could see more of the same.  The airport is committed to ensuring at least 50% of its flights take off.  The union has to give 24 hours notice if any further strike action is planned and the union is waiting to see if Fraport will meet their demands.  Meanwhile, Fraport has indicated that they are willing to resume negotiations, but they have not heard from the GdF union on the matter.

 

The GdF union has demanded an increase in pay of as much as 70%, which Fraport says is irresponsible.  They want to work out a compromise with the union.  In the meantime, non-union staff and operations management are filling in for the striking workers, doing things such as guiding aircraft to their parking spaces.
Many passengers have been rebooked on alternate flights before even reaching the airport.  Airlines and tour operators have taken care of it for them.  Other passengers have had their tickets exchanged for tickets on Germany’s high-speed train.  No passengers have had to spend the night in the airport.  So far no legal action has been taken to avert the strike.

See the original Google News article for more details.

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