February 19, 2012 / 10:31 AM / 8 years ago

Strike at Frankfurt airport to continue Monday

* Ground crew to walk out for 24 hours from 0400 GMT

* Airport operator Fraport rejects arbitrator’s plan

* Union had accepted arbitration deal

FRANKFURT, Feb 19 (Reuters) - A stoppage by ground crew at Frankfurt airport which has grounded hundreds of flights will continue for another 24 hours after operator Fraport rejected a proposed settlement from an arbitrator.

Out of a total of about 1,300 flights a day, 172 were cancelled on Thursday and 290 on Friday, most of them operated by German flagship carrier Lufthansa.

Workers want higher pay, arguing their jobs have become more complex following the introduction of a fourth runway last October.

Some 200 crew who marshal planes at Europe’s third-largest airport plan to strike for 24 hours from 0400 GMT on Monday, the GdF trade union said on Sunday.

The union accepted a settlement plan from arbitrator Ole von Beust, an ex-mayor of Hamburg. Fraport rejected the deal.

“We are prepared to talk, if GdF is ready to compromise,” a spokesman for Fraport said On Sunday.

BEDS AND TEXTS

Frankfurt is Europe’s third busiest airport behind London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, serving over 56 million passengers in 2011 and employing over 70,000 people.

Bankhaus Lampe analyst Sebastian Hein estimated the revenue lost by Lufthansa over Thursday and Friday at about 40 million euros ($52.65 million), while Metzler’s Juergen Pieper said one day’s strike could cost between 2-3 million in profits.

A strike by Lufthansa pilots in 2010 that was suspended after one day cost Lufthansa 48 million euros in lost revenues.

So far, Fraport has not resorted to legal measures, such as taking out a temporary injunction, to avert the strike.

Court action was used last year to avert a planned strike by German air traffic controllers during the peak summer period. In 2010 pilots from Air Berlin and Lufthansa were forced by judges to call off strikes.

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