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UPDATE 2-Frankfurt airport workers to strike from Sunday
February 25, 2012 / 6:10 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Frankfurt airport workers to strike from Sunday

* Airfield workers to re-start strike on Sunday

* Will strike until Thursday

* Lufthansa says long-haul flights get priority (Adds Lufthansa and Fraport comments)

FRANKFURT, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Airfield workers at Frankfurt Airport will resume their strike for five days from Sunday after their representatives and airport operator Fraport failed to reach a pay deal late on Friday, trade union GdF said on Saturday.

GdF said in a statement the strike would start at 2000 GMT Sunday, Feb. 26, until 0400 GMT on Thursday, March 1.

Frankfurt airport is Europe’s third-busiest after London-Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, with about 1,300 flight movements per day, more than half of them by Lufthansa .

After the pay talks collapsed on Friday, Fraport dismissed GdF’s demand as unjustified and unacceptable, while GdF blamed Fraport for making an offer lower than the original one from before the mediation process.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said late on Saturday that, like with the previous walkouts, long-haul flights would be given priority and a list of Monday’s flight cancellations would be available on its website from Sunday afternoon.

“As the strike begins late, we expect minimal impact for Sunday, with virtually no cancellations. For Monday we expect there will be some cancellations if a strike does go ahead,” he said.

Lufthansa was the worst hit by the strikes that started on Feb. 16 and ran until Feb. 22 with a break over the weekend.

The strike had been due to run until Friday, but was broken off on Wednesday after Fraport wrote to the union offering talks.

The workers affected were around 200 ground crew who guide aircraft to parking positions.

Just over 1,000 flights have been cancelled since last Thursday, the vast majority of them from Lufthansa, which has mostly scrapped European services to give priority to intercontinental travellers.

Lufthansa has said the first four days of the strike have so far cost it a high double-digit million euro sum in turnover.

A Fraport spokesman confirmed late on Saturday the company was ready to deal with any strikes, and referred back to an earlier statement on Sunday in which the group urged the union to accept its latest offer.

Fraport has been using former ground crew to replace striking workers, with the number of flight cancellations dropping each day as staff became used to the role again. (Reporting By Marilyn Gerlach and Victoria Bryan, editing by William Hardy)

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