Collective bargaining between Verdi and Lufthansa will enter the third round on Wednesday – those involved are confident. But a pilot strike could soon be imminent. The news ticker.
- Third round of negotiations begins: Verdi and the largest German airline Lufthansa will start negotiations on Wednesday.
- These are the union demands : Verdi wants 9.5 percent more wages for ground staff.
- A pilots’ strike is also looming : Members of the Cockpit pilots’ union vote in favor of a possible labor dispute.
- This news ticker about the Lufthansa strike is updated regularly.
Berlin – The strike by Lufthansa ground staff last week had wide implications: up to 1,000 flights were canceled and more than 130,000 passengers were affected. The third round of negotiations between the Verdi union and the airline begins on Wednesday, and the Verdi negotiator was confident. In the middle of the holiday season, however, there could also be a labor dispute among Lufthansa pilots.
These are the union demands: Verdi wants 9.5 percent more wages for ground staff
On Wednesday, the Verdi union negotiated with Lufthansa about the salaries of the airline’s ground staff. The negotiations are scheduled for two days. Verdi is demanding 9.5 percent more wages and a minimum hourly wage of 13 euros for a twelve-month period for around 20,000 Lufthansa ground workers. Christine Behle, the union’s chief negotiator, recently expressed confidence that an agreement could be reached. “We have great hope that the breakthrough will succeed,” she told Handelsblatt .
“We call on Lufthansa to submit a final offer in tomorrow’s third round of negotiations,” Behle said on Tuesday. “A result in this round is crucial to prevent further warning strikes.” Without an agreement, further strikes are imminent. There was a risk that the labor disputes would slip into the peak travel season, warned the negotiator and Verdi vice-president. The airline Lufthansa had suffered badly from the corona pandemic. Behle recalled that the employees had waived their salary in order to get Lufthansa through the crisis in a stable manner. The last time there was a collective bargaining round was in 2018.
Lufthansa: Will the pilots go on strike soon?
In the middle of the holiday season, the airline Lufthansa also has to prepare for a possible strike by its pilots. The members of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union voted by a large majority on Sunday for a possible labor dispute. With a participation of 93.2 percent at Deutsche Lufthansa, 97.6 percent supported the goals of the wage commission, Cockpit announced on Sunday in Frankfurt am Main. VC stated that it initially wanted to have “constructive discussions” in order to find “joint solutions”. The result of the vote “does not necessarily lead to strike action,” Cockpit explained.
The association calls for a salary increase of 5.5 percent for 2022, automatic compensation for inflation and a uniform tariff structure. The latter would mean that the same conditions apply to all Lufthansa pilots. It is difficult to implement this requirement. In addition, the attractiveness of the lower wage levels should be increased. “We now need a modern and fair, internationally competitive remuneration structure in all professional groups,” explained Marcel Gröls, the chairman of the union’s collective bargaining policy.
However, the strikes are not the airline’s only problem. Like other airlines, Lufthansa is suffering from a massive shortage of staff. Regardless of the labor disputes, Lufthansa had already canceled thousands of flights for the summer (AFP/bme) .