Fraport and airlines not entitled to compensation for losses caused by strike

The flight safety union responsible for calling a strike at Frankfurt airport resulting in 1,700 flight cancellations has successfully defended an application for damages for losses suffered as a result.  Two airlines and Frankfurt airport’s publicly owned operator, Fraport AG, applied for EUR 9.5 million damages to the Higher Labour Court Hessen (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG).  The applications were rejected on December 5, 2013 (docket number – 9 Sa 592/13).  The strike was called to improve the working conditions for about 200 airport employees.  The labour court had ordered the strike to stop on the basis that it was in breach of the peace.  The airlines and Fraport AG subsequently applied for damages for losses in connection with the numerous flight cancellations (for the cancellation themselves as well as for costs for transportation and accommodation of passengers, ect.).

 The Higher Labour Court rejected the airlines’ claims on the basis that the strike was not targeted at the parties directly.  Fraport’s application was rejected on the basis that, had the strike had been lawful, the outcome and consequences would have been the same.  

 Because of the importance of the ruling, the parties have been allowed to appeal to the Federal Labour Court.