Frankfurt Airport said as many as 200 flights, or 15 percent of the total, would be canceled today after ground controllers resumed strike action following the failure of talks over pay and the outsourcing of contracts.
The walkout began at 9 p.m. yesterday and is scheduled to end at 5 a.m. on March 1, Gewerkschaft der Flugsicherung union spokesman Matthias Maas said today, adding that the labor group has agreed to extend the action into other operational areas which would “severely damage” airport owner Fraport AG.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which has its hub in Frankfurt, will scrap about 140 flights today at Europe’s third-busiest airport, spokeswoman Claudia Lange said, maintaining “more than 80 percent of normal operations,” including all long-haul services.
Talks aimed at ending the dispute, which involves 200 staff responsible for directing planes as they taxi and park, broke down Feb. 24 after Fraport offered terms similar to those agreed at Munich airport. That deal was worth less than one proposed before the start of mediation, according to the GdF.
“We made it clear today that we expect the GdF to accept the very good offer that we made last week,” Fraport spokesman Mike Schweitzer said by phone after the companied issued details of the terms rejected by the union.
The GdF will no longer give 24 hours’ notice of action by ground-control staff, and may call out members in other fields in support of the protest, Maas said.
The union has said it favors proposals from mediator Ole von Beust for a two-step monthly wage increase of between 200 euros ($269) and 1,600 euros. It also wants any outsourced jobs to move to a single company on a single contract.
Fraport had fallen 1.5 percent to 47.06 euros as of the close in Frankfurt. Lufthansa, Europe’s second-biggest airline, declined 2.4 percent to 10.17 euros as the seven member Bloomberg EMEA Airlines Index slipped 1.6 percent.