Chaos at Frankfurt airport as security staff strike work

February 22, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

FRANKFURT: A strike by security staff at Frankfurt airport caused flight cancellations and delayed thousands of passengers, bringing chaos to Europe’s third largest hub yesterday, the busiest day of the week for travellers.

Trade union Verdi had called on around 5,000 people who check passengers, baggage and freight at the airport to strike for the entire day to push for their pay to be brought into line with that of staff at other German airports. 

Hoards of people jostling to get to the front of lines at check-in and service desks thronged the airport, which usually handles 150,000 passengers on a typical Friday.

Almost 50 flights were cancelled, with Lufthansa  scrapping almost 40, but the biggest problem was getting people through check-in and security, airport operator Fraport  said. “We’re trying our best but it’s a challenge,” a spokesman said. “We tried to inform people but the strike was called at such short notice.”

Britain to post ‘slavery’ spotters at airports

LONDON: Anti-slavery teams are to be deployed at British airports in a bid to identify potential victims of human trafficking, the government announced yesterday.

Border Force units will be tasked with spotting potential victims of so-called modern slavery, collecting intelligence on trafficking victims and disrupting organised crime gangs. The first specialist team will start working on April 1 at London Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers.

Teams will also start operating at Britain’s second and third air hubs — London Gatwick and Manchester — later this year, with further airports to follow.

The measures were announced by Karen Bradley, Britain’s new modern slavery and organised crime minister at the Home Office. “Our frontline Border Force officers are aware that they could be the first authority figure in the UK to have contact with a potential victim of modern slavery,” she said.