Lufthansa ground staff to walk out on 27-hour strike

A Lufthansa Airbus A350 on the taxiway.
Photo Credit: Lufthansa

In what is the latest of a surge in industrial disputes in the aviation sector, the German service union Verdi has called for a general strike of Lufthansa ground staff, to be effective from the morning of Tuesday 20 February.

The latest strike by Verdi union members is set to involve Lufthansa ground employees, and is planned as a 27-hour strike lasting from 4 AM local time on Tuesday morning until 7:10 AM on Wednesday 21 February.

Major German Airports Affected

A number of major German international airports will be affected by the strike action, involving workers at Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf as well as Cologne Bonn.

According to a report from local news source DW, the German carrier stated that strike action will result in the cancellation of 900 of 1000 scheduled Lufthansa flights and will affect approximately 100,000 passengers.

The impending strike action comes as part of an ongoing pay dispute which has called for pay rises of 12.5% for the 30 members as well as a one-off inflation bonus compensation payment for the group of 25,000 Lufthansa employees.

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

Last Week’s Pay Offer Rejected

In recent negotiations, Lufthansa counted with a 10% pay rise offer which was substantially rejected by the majority of employees.

Martin Reschinsky, lead negotiator for the union Verdi characterised ground staff base the hourly rates as being “really antisocial” when weighed against the pay rises which have been offered to fly crews.

He described the sense of upset amongst ground employees and expressed the cohorts regret for the escalation to strike action saying “we want a speedy result for employees and passengers.”

Lufthansa Response

A response by the chief human resources director for Lufthansa Group labelled the latest strike action as “disproportionate”, saying that it was not the way to handle the joint responsibility for colleagues and passengers.

The next round of negotiations between the German airline group and the service union is currently set to take place on February 21.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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