Lufthansa Braces For Further Strike Action

Photo Credit: Lufthansa
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Lufthansa ground staff, represented by the union ver.di, are planning a two-day warning strike on Thursday and Friday, March 7th and 8th, 2024.

This comes after negotiations between the union and the Lufthansa Group failed to reach an agreement on wage increases and other demands.

The union is demanding a 12.5% salary increase or a minimum of €500 per month raise for ground staff.

‘Minimal Progress’ in Negotiations

They also want a shorter contract term and a one-time bonus to offset rising living costs. However, ver.di argues that Lufthansa’s offer falls short of these demands and the company has shown no willingness to significantly improve their proposal.

The recent two-day negotiations last month between Lufthansa and ver.di yielded minimal progress on wage increases for ground staff.

While Lufthansa slightly reduced the number of zero-pay months and offered a marginally better raise over the extended contract period, these changes fell far short of ver.di’s core demand of a 12.5% raise or a minimum monthly increase of €500.

Notably, the extended contract term now stands at 28 months, more than double the union’s initial request of 12 months. This significant gap between offer and demand is fueling the planned strike action.

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft at Frankfurt Airport.
Radosław Drożdżewski (User:Zwiadowca21), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Disruption at Major Airports

This lack of progress has led to the planned strike, which is expected to disrupt flights at major German airports.

While ver.di regrets the impact on passengers, they argue that Lufthansa is forcing their hand by refusing to engage in serious negotiations.

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Lufthansa Advisory

The union remains open to further discussions before the next scheduled meeting on March 13th and 14th, but only if the company presents a more substantial offer.

Lufthansa has issued an advisory, warning of potential disruptions, saying:

“The trade union Verdi has once again called on ground staff of multiple Lufthansa companies to go on a warning strike from Wednesday, March 6th at 8:00 pm until Saturday, March 9th at 7:10 am.”

A Lufthansa A320 on the taxiway.
Photo Credit: Lufthansa.

ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky expressed frustration with the current situation, stating, “It’s impossible to believe that Lufthansa announces record profits while ground staff struggle to make ends meet in some of Germany’s most expensive cities.”

“In the past few days we have deliberately skipped passenger traffic with our strikes. However, by ignoring our request to negotiate, Lufthansa is telling us that it will only move if the pressure continues to increase,” he said. 

He emphasized the union’s desire to avoid impacting passengers but felt forced to take action due to Lufthansa’s stance.

Reschinsky concluded by reiterating ver.di’s willingness to find a solution, stating, “Both the employees and the union are ready to make this happen with a serious offer from Lufthansa.”

The warning strike for areas close to passengers begins on Thursday, March 7th, 2024 from 4:00 a.m. and ends on Saturday, March 9th, 2024 at 7:10 a.m. Different times apply for areas not close to passengers, such as cargo or technology.

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Disruptions are expected at major German airports, as Lufthansa prepares for further strike action this week by ground handling staff.
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