Up to 20,000 Lufthansa ground staff members are planning to go on a one-day “warning strike” on Wednesday, which is anticipated to disrupt all of the airline’s aircraft operations.
Numerous ground employees, including gate agents, engineers, and pushback drivers, will participate in the strike. The Ver.di United Services union, which called the strike, says it anticipates “significant flight cancellations and delays” as a result of the labor action.
The union is requesting a minimum salary of €13 per hour and a pay increase of at least 9.5 percent, or €350 per month, whichever is higher. According to the union, some employees at Lufthansa’s cargo handling businesses make just €12 per hour.
Following the beginning of the second round of negotiations last week, talks between the union and the airline ended after just two days. In addition to a 2% salary raise beginning on July 1, 2023, Lufthansa has given a minimum wage increase of €250 per month.
Ground workers are coming under growing strain, according to Christine Behle, vice chairperson of the Ver.di union, as a result of personnel shortages, a three-year pandemic pay freeze, and quickly rising inflation.
“They urgently need more money and they need relief, for themselves and for the passengers. The employer offers at the front and back is not enough for this,” Behle said after the strike was announced on Monday.
Employees on strike are scheduled to leave the workplace at 3:45 AM on Wednesday and won’t return until 6 AM on Thursday. At all German airports served by Lufthansa, including Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, and Munich, employees will strike.
Due to the strike’s size, the remainder of the week can be affected. The walkout, according to Lufthansa, would put an “unnecessary hardship” on customers and other employees.
For the third round of negotiations, the parties’ representatives won’t likely get together until August 3rd. The postponement makes Wednesday’s strike action all but certain.