German air traffic controllers call off strike

AP News
Posted: Aug 03, 2011 3:11 PM
German air traffic controllers call off strike

A union representing Germany's air traffic controllers on Wednesday called off a planned strike amid a court battle with employers over the threatened walkout at the height of the summer vacation season.

The GdF union had called on its members to walk out between 6 a.m. and noon (0400-1000 GMT) on Thursday.

But the Frankfurt labor court accepted the national air traffic authority's request to issue an injunction blocking the strike, news agency dapd reported. It found that some of the union's demands weren't legally admissible.

GdF appealed the ruling to a higher court, which planned to consider the case later Wednesday night.

Given the late timing, the union decided to call off Thursday's walkout anyway because it didn't want to leave passengers and airlines uncertain about whether flights would be able to go ahead, spokesman Matthias Maas said.

GdF has been seeking a one-year wage deal with a 6.5 percent pay increase and changes to the organizational structure. It has rejected the air traffic authority's offer of a lower raise over a longer period.

Germany's air traffic control authority has nearly 6,000 employees.

Some airlines already decided to move a few early-morning Thursday flights forward slightly as courts considered the dispute.