The threat of further strike action by around 20,000 ground staff at German flag carrier Lufthansa has been lifted after the airline struck a deal with the ver.di United Services Union late on Thursday night.
The deal followed a highly disruptive ‘warning strike’ last week that resulted in Lufthansa being forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs. At least 134,000 passengers were stranded as a result of the strike action.
Announcing the deal, ver.di’s deputy chairman and chief negotiator Christine Behle said check-in staff would benefit from wage increases of between 13.6 and 18.4 per cent based on seniority.
Wages will rise in three stages up to July 1, 2023, and employees will be locked into the collective agreement until December 31, 2023.
“This is a good result, which means an increase of at least 377 euros per month to 498 euros across all groups of employees,” commented Behle. “The result includes inflation compensation and additionally a real wage increase.”
“It was important to us to achieve this real balance in order to secure employees in this difficult economic situation,” Behle continued. Lufthansa had originally offered a pay rise of just 250 euros.
The airline is still negotiating updated collective bargaining agreements with its pilots and cabin crew workforces but chief human resources officer Michael Niggemann said on Thursday he was “confident” that “good solutions would also be achieved”.
Pilots represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union voted last week by 98 per cent to support strike action in yet another damaging blow to the airline. The union did not announce any immediate strike action but put the airline on notice that a walkout was on the cards.
In the second quarter, Lufthansa swung back into the black with a profit of 393 million euros. Chief executive Carsten Spohr said he was “optimistic” about the future for the airline.
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.