* Union asks tower staff to join strike for six hours on
* Strike resumed at 2000 GMT Sun, to run until Thurs 0400
FRANKFURT Feb 28 German trade union GdF,
which represents around 190 striking workers at Frankfurt
airport, said on Tuesday it wants control tower staff to join
the walkouts, a move which could increase disruption caused by a
strike which has forced the cancellation of 1,400 flights.
The union wants 12 air traffic controllers to join
the strike from 0400 GMT to 1000 GMT on Wednesday, which would
affect at least 300 flights, GdF board member Markus Siebers
"The step is meant to show solidarity with the GdF
members in the struggle against Fraport," the union
said in a statement.
A strike threatened last year by tower workers across
Germany would have disrupted around 3,000 flights a day,
including those flying over Germany, not only taking off and
Fraport was not immediately available for comment. When the
union warned late on Monday it was considering extending the
strike, airport operator Fraport called on the German government
to stop air traffic controllers -- who work for a
government-owned company -- from joining the strike.
"The threat to extend the strike would ... lead to economic
damage that can under no circumstances be justified," Fraport
said in a statement.
Walkouts by the employees who guide planes to parking places
started on Feb. 16, but have so far had a limited impact at
Frankfurt, Europe's third-busiest airport as measured by
Fraport has been able to fill the gaps by reshuffling its
workforce, meaning around 80 percent of daily scheduled flights
have run. The airport averages 1,300 flights a day.
Airline Lufthansa, which accounts for around half
of the airport's take-offs and landings, said it was cancelling
around 140 flights on Monday and a similar number on Tuesday.
The latest walkouts began on Sunday at 2000 GMT and are due
to run until 0400 GMT on Thursday.
Each day of strikes costs Fraport around 1 million euros
($1.4 million) in lost revenue.
The union wants higher pay and shorter hours for around 190
staff who work on the airport apron. Fraport says the demands,
which would equate to pay increases of 50-70 percent, are
The walkouts by staff who make up just 1 percent of
Fraport's workforce have brought calls for changes to Germany's
labour laws to prevent such small groups of striking workers
from exerting such pressure.
Shares in Fraport and Lufthansa fell on Monday, with Fraport
down 1.2 percent and Lufthansa, additionally burdened by high
oil prices, down 3.6 percent.
($1 = 0.7428 euros)
(Reporting by Peter Dinkloh and Axel Hildebrand; Editing by