Berlin [Germany], September 2
German airline Lufthansa has cancelled 800 flights both passenger and cargo flights on Friday after pilots union ‘Vereinigung Cockpit’ announced they are going on a planned all-day strike.
Due to the strike, the airline said it would cancel all flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich airports today, affecting 130,000 passengers, according to the statement released by Lufthansa Group on Thursday. Lufthansa said while it was working to normalize the situation, “isolated cancellations or delays” on Saturday or Sunday were also possible.
The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) confirmed overnight that Lufthansa pilots would stage an all-day strike on Friday both for flights by the core passenger business and its cargo subsidiary, DPA, German News Agency reported.
VC says it is demanding a 5.5 per cent pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots, as well as automatic inflation adjustments for 2023, but said discussions had failed.
During the coronavirus crisis, Lufthansa terminated the agreement and started to set up a new airline with lower pay scale conditions, bypassing the collective deal.
“We have not received a sufficient offer today either,” said spokesperson Matthias Baier. “This is sobering and a missed opportunity.”
Michael Niggemann, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said, “We cannot understand VC’s call for a strike. The management has made a very good and socially balanced offer – despite the continuing burdens of the Covid crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation comes at the expense of many thousands of customers.”
According to the statement, the Group has presented an offer with an 18-month term, in which pilots at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo will receive a total of 900 euros more in basic pay per month in two stages. This will benefit entry-level salaries in particular.
An entry-level co-pilot will receive more than 18 per cent additional basic pay over the duration of the agreement, while a captain in the final stage will receive five per cent. With the agreement for the ground staff, the Group has shown that it is prepared to make significant pay increases.
As an alternative, VC has been offered the option of allocating all or part of this volume elsewhere, for example for structural changes such as adjustments to the pay scale. In addition, the Group is offering VC the opportunity to jointly conclude a new ‘Perspective Agreement’, in which Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo cockpit staff have a minimum fleet size. (ANI)