More than 1000 flight cancellations at Lufthansa – Economy

Lufthansa passengers were again put to a tough test of patience on Tuesday. After more than 1,000 flight cancellations as a result of another Verdi warning strike on the ground, hopes are now focused on collective bargaining, which is scheduled to continue this Wednesday. “The good soil is over,” it was said on Tuesday at the protest rally with around 1,000 participants in front of Lufthansa headquarters. The union has not yet threatened an indefinite strike.

The warning strike was particularly noticeable at the Munich and Frankfurt hubs, but Lufthansa flights were also canceled from the boards at many other airports. Lufthansa had warned affected passengers not to come to the airport because no rebookings were possible there. There were also strike actions in Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Flights to the two Lufthansa hubs were also canceled at other airports.

The ground staff’s Verdi warning strike has been running since Monday evening until Wednesday morning. Lufthansa human resources director Michael Niggemann calls it “disproportionate,” but he can’t really do anything about it. “We have now proven twice that we can strike,” says Verdi chief negotiator Marvin Reschinsky. “It would therefore be wise to conclude now.”

Verdi is demanding 12.5 percent more money for the more than 20,000 ground workers as well as an inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros for a term of one year. Lufthansa offered the bonus in fragmented form and around ten percent more salary, but much later and for a term that was more than twice as long. It seems to only be about payment points and duration, but a Lufthansa spokesman left it open whether the company would increase the offer. Then we can continue negotiations on Thursday, entices Verdi negotiator Reschinsky.

The trade unionist insists on a higher offer. Compared to the pilots, the salary increases offered to the ground staff were significantly too low, he shouted to his people. The comparison made by Lufthansa that the offer corresponds to the qualification in the public service does not work. “We don’t have any cash-strapped finances at Lufthansa. And unlike in the public sector, the employees still have a lot of catching up to do from the Corona period.” The billions in state aid have been repaid, and in a few days Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr wants to present one of the highest operating profits in the company’s history at around 2.7 billion euros. More expensive tickets brought the group record revenue in the summer of 2023. This year too, the forecasts are positive thanks to a global shortage of aircraft capacity and strong demand.

Negotiations also in aviation security

Parallel to the talks at Lufthansa headquarters in Frankfurt, the union in Berlin is negotiating with private aviation security companies. Here, around 25,000 employees also staged a warning strike at passenger checkpoints on February 1st and achieved a similar result with more than 1,100 flight cancellations. From the outset, the collective bargaining partners agreed on two days for what is now the sixth round.

Verdi is demanding a flat rate of 2.80 euros more hourly wages for passenger and baggage inspectors. Together with other demands, this results in a volume of between 13.6 and 20.25 percent, the employers from the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies have calculated. This significantly exceeds the required inflation compensation and is not economically feasible. “Our goal is to sustainably compensate for the loss of purchasing power of employees. The work of the aviation security forces must remain financially attractive so that the urgently needed skilled workers can be recruited and retained,” says Verdi negotiator Wolfgang Pieper.

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