The head of the main cabin crew union at German flag carrier Lufthansa allegedly demanded a personal payment of €1 million in return for agreeing on a controversial rescue package according to sources quoted by Germany’s Welt publication. The UFO Independent Flight Attendant Organization has denied the claims made against Nicoley Baublies and has hit out at Lufthansa for so far refusing to do the same.
Welt claims Baublies had demanded the payment in return for agreeing to a rescue package that will include job losses, reduced pay and part-time working measures for many cabin crew. The newspaper says the payment was demanded in order to cover legal costs and other “negligible losses” stemming from a legal battle last year that saw Lufthansa try to fire Baublies.
The UFO union has previously been accused of nepotism and inappropriate use of funds. At one point, Lufthansa was even pushing for a criminal probe but investigations were eventually dropped.
“Of course this is not the case,” the union said in response to the allegations that a million Euro personal payment was a requisite to any rescue package being agreed to. The UFO asked Lufthansa to publicly dismiss the rumours but instead anonymous sources were put on record confirming the allegations by Welt.
“Mr. Baublies mixes personal issues with the legitimate interests of the union,” one Lufthansa source was quoted as saying. “There has never been anything like this in collective bargaining in the past decades.”
Negotiations are still ongoing between unions and the airline over plans to make as many as 22,000 employees redundant because of the Corona crisis. Last week, Lufthansa said 2,600 flight attendant roles could be eliminated but that other proposals, including changes to terms and conditions and part-time working models were being explored to save jobs.
An agreement on staff cuts was due to be announced on Monday ahead of a make or break annual general meeting on June 25 but negotiations continue today in Frankfurt to find a solution.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.