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Monday, June 5, 2023

Lufthansa and ground staff reach an agreement to prevent further strike

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After reaching an agreement with the ver.di United Services Union late on Thursday night, the German flag carrier Lufthansa has ended the risk of future strike action by almost 20,000 of its ground personnel.

The agreement came after last week’s extremely disruptive “warning strike,” which caused Lufthansa to postpone more than 1,000 flights from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Due to the strike, at least 134,000 people were left stranded.

Ver.di’s deputy chairman and principal negotiator Christine Behle announced the agreement and stated that check-in workers would benefit from pay increases ranging from 13.6 to 18.4% dependent on seniority.

Employees will be bound by the collective agreement through December 31, 2023, and wages will increase in three phases up to July 1, 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.

Although the airline and its pilots and cabin crew employees are still in the process of drafting fresh collective bargaining agreements, chief human resources officer Michael Niggemann said on Thursday that he was “confident” that “positive solutions will also be obtained.”

Last Monday, 98 percent of the Vereinigung Cockpit union’s pilot members voted in favor of a strike, dealing another blow to the airline. The union warned the airline that a walkout was possible but did not announce any immediate strike action.

With a profit of 393 million euros, Lufthansa returned to the black in the second quarter. Carsten Spohr, the airline’s CEO, declared himself to be “optimistic” about the future of the company.

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