One of Lufthansa's main unions on Monday called on the airline's ground staff to stage a warning strike on Wednesday as part of a collective bargaining dispute against 25,000 workers whose purchasing power has been weakened by inflation.
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The Verdi union called for a strike from 4:00 a.m. (3:00 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday to 7:10 a.m. Thursday (6:10 a.m. GMT) “to increase pressure” on management as it demands a temporary 12.5% pay rise of 12 months, according to a press release.
The first German airport in Frankfurt as well as the airports in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf will be affected.
Lufthansa is working “on a special flight plan” that will appeal to “more than a hundred thousand passengers,” it said in a press release.
The work stoppage affects all ground workers, from maintenance to passenger and aircraft handling, meaning “significant flight cancellations and delays are expected,” the union said.
Verdi is demanding at least 500 euros more on the monthly payroll and an inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros. In addition, the organization of shifts needs to be improved.
Lufthansa, for its part, has submitted an offer that provides for increases of “more than 13 percent” over a period of three years and the payment of “significant compensation premiums against inflation,” he argues.
However, this offer from management was deemed “totally inadequate” by the union before formal negotiations began, which is why the warning strike was initiated.
Due to inflation, Lufthansa employees “already have around 10 percent less in their pockets than three years ago,” while the company is posting “record profits” after the Covid-19 crisis, explains Marvin Reschinsky, head of negotiations at Verdi, in this press release.
The social conflict will particularly affect the Lufthansa company and its subsidiaries in the areas of maintenance and freight.
Negotiations between the union and management are scheduled to resume on February 12th in Frankfurt.