Lufthansa suspends most of its flights this week due to ground crew strike

The United Services Union (ver.di) has called on the ground staff (traffic agents, handling, dispatchers, etc.) of the Lufthansa Group for a warning strike between July 27-28, 2022 at all company bases (Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, among others).

The background is the ongoing collective bargaining for the approximately 20,000 employees of Lufthansa AG Boden, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services (LTLS), Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft (LSG), as well as LEOS (Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services GmbH). In the second round of negotiations on July 13, the employers’ association submitted an offer that was discussed by the ver.di members concerned in the last few days and criticized as insufficient.

«In the second round of negotiations, the employees, who are exposed to enormous pressure every day, were hoping for a strong signal that could have resulted in a good outcome,» explains United Services Union (ver.di) Vice President Christine Behle.

However, the first effects came early and on Tuesday, July 26, a massive wave of cancellations began, affecting 78% of operations, and the company announced that the effects of the strikes could last until Friday of this week.

– Advertisement –

Lufthansa stated that more than 1,000 flights and 140,000 passengers could be affected this week, at the height of the summer peak season.

Bewildered, Michael Niggemann, Head of Human Resources and Labor Director at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: «The early escalation of a previously constructive collective bargaining round is causing enormous damage. It particularly affects our passengers, who are affected during the peak travel season.»

The difficult situation in Europe due to widespread strikes strongly affects air traffic, mainly due to renumerations that were not returned to pre-pandemic levels and inflation.

Michael Niggemann stated that there will be very significant wage increases in the next 12 months, being more than 10% in wage groups up to 3,000 euros per month basic salary and a 6% increase for a monthly basic salary of 6,500 euros.

Among other things, the Group has presented a package with the following components. Effective July 1, 2022, with a term of 18 months, each employee would receive:

  • a base salary increase of €150 per month as of July 1, 2022,
  • an additional base salary increase of 100 euros per month as of January 1, 2023,
  • an additional two percent increase in compensation as of July 1, 2023, depending on how our business develops.

According to the union, the offer does not even come close to compensating for inflation and, in view of current price increases, this would mean a significant loss of real wages for employees. In addition to the ver.di demand for a 9.5% higher wage proposed by Lufthansa, it is also asking for an increase of at least 350 euros per month, with a term of twelve months, the hourly wage for the respective employee groups should be at least 13 euros. LTLS and Lufthansa Cargo currently have hourly wages of less than EUR 12.

The next round of negotiations will take place on August 3-4, 2022 in Frankfurt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.