Flights are canceled at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on February 20, 2012, as the GdF union stages a strike over payments.
Germany’s GdF union for air traffic workers has announced an extension of its strike until the end of the week, causing further air traffic disruptions at the country’s largest airport.
“Of course, we want to increase the pressure,” said Matthias Maas, a spokesperson for GdF, on Tuesday morning upon the announcement.
The strike initially began on Thursday when apron controllers who direct aircraft in and out of their parking positions stopped performing their duties.
The wage dispute centers around 200 personnel. GdF called for the strikes after Fraport, the company which owns and operates the airport, turned down mediation proposals in their dispute.
Fraport is now looking to hire emergency staff to get the airport running at previous capacity as hundreds of flights have been canceled since the beginning of the strike. In addition, the first two days of the walkouts cost the airport operator close to 4 million euros in lost revenues.
Workers at the airport are demanding pay rises, increased bonuses and reduced working hours. They are also asking for outsourced employment to be relocated to a single company on a single contract.
Fraport, however, says it will not bow down to “unreasonable” demands.
The airport is Europe’s third largest in terms of passengers count.