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Lufthansa’s Cabin Crew Union Announces Two-Day Strike Action

It follows closely on the heels of Lufthansa’s revelation of record profits for the year 2023.

Lufthansa planes stand parked as Frankfurt airport is closed to passengers with planned departures due to a strike organised by Verdi union, in Frankfurt, Germany, March 7, 2024. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Lufthansa’s cabin crew union, the Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO), has announced a two-day strike impacting operations at two of Germany’s busiest airports, Frankfurt and Munich. 

This latest industrial action, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, marks the continuation of a series of strikes affecting the German airline.

The strike announcement by the union follows closely on the heels of Lufthansa’s revelation of record profits for the year 2023. 

Despite the airline’s robust financial performance, the UFO is advocating for improved compensation for its members. The union’s demands include a 15% pay increase and a €3,000 inflation compensation payment for its 18,000 members with Lufthansa, as well as 1,000 members at its subsidiary, Cityline.

Affected by the strike are approximately 100,000 travelers, as the union’s action encompasses all departures from Frankfurt on Tuesday and all flights departing from Munich on Wednesday, spanning from 04:00 to 23:00 local time.

While Lufthansa’s code share partners may potentially be affected, it remains unclear to what extent their operations will be impacted.

Joachim Vazquez Buerger, UFO board chairman, emphasized the importance of cabin crews benefiting from the airline’s success, stating, “Cabin crews should be able to benefit from this success.” He expressed regret over the decision to strike and appealed to passengers for understanding regarding any inconvenience caused.

The failure to reach an agreement between Lufthansa and its staff prompted criticism from the union’s negotiator, who accused management of exacerbating the situation to the detriment of passengers

This recent strike follows a separate industrial action by Lufthansa ground staff, led by the Ver.di union, which affected approximately 200,000 passengers with delays and 

cancellations on Thursday and Friday. Ver.di’s demands include a 12.5% pay increase or at least €500 more per month, alongside an inflation compensation bonus.

While Lufthansa has offered a pay increase of at least 10%, Ver.di contends that the proposal falls short, especially considering the airline’s substantial profits and the ground staff’s remuneration, which they argue is currently inadequate.

The ongoing labor disputes highlight the tensions between airline management and employee unions, underscoring the challenges faced by both travelers and industry stakeholders amidst efforts to resolve the impasse.

Chioma Kalu

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