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German court bans airport walkout

A German court has banned air traffic controllers at Frankfurt airport from walking out in support of already-striking ground workers.

The Frankfurt court said that the impact caused by the short-term strike by air traffic controllers announced by the GdF union would be "disproportionate" to the support it would provide for the ground workers' demands.

It was not immediately clear whether GdF would appeal against the ruling, but the decision appeared to alleviate the possibility of wider disruptions at Europe's third busiest airport.

The union had called on controllers to walk out as a sign of solidarity with around 200 workers who oversee ground operations. Those workers are in the middle of a three-day strike due to end on Thursday.

Airport operator Fraport AG and Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, had sought the court injunction blocking the air traffic controllers' walkout.

The ground workers' strike and a similar three-day walkout last week have led to hundreds of cancellations of short-haul services at the airport, but Fraport said it has kept a large majority of flights running.

Fraport has sharply criticised GdF demands for double-digit pay rises, while the union said it just wants the Frankfurt workers' salaries brought in line with what other airports pay. The last round of talks between the two sides collapsed acrimoniously on Friday.

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