Lufthansa walkout hits flights at Paris airport

Posted - Dec. 26, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.



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PARIS (AP) - Lufthansa workers angry over staffing shortages abruptly walked off the job at the main Paris airport Thursday, prompting flight cancellations and bringing a new headache to holiday travel.

The walkout stranded hundreds of passengers and got the attention of company managers, who came to the airport and persuaded staff to return to their posts later in the day, according to UNSA union representative Frank Bonot.

The surprise protest comes amid tensions over a restructuring plan that foresees job cuts for Lufthansa in France.

An official with the Paris airport authority said that all Lufthansa airport staff at Charles de Gaulle Airport reported in sick Thursday morning, leaving no one to register passengers for 22 Lufthansa flights in and out of Paris. The airport brought in extra personnel to direct passengers. The airport also suffered heavy delays on Tuesday because of fierce winds.

Lufthansa said in statement that only two flights were officially canceled, and that travel was resuming in the afternoon.

Bonot said unions may stage a formal strike next week if they can't get a meeting with management about the layoff plan in the coming days.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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