Collective bargaining failed: Lufthansa pilots are on strike on Friday

The union Cockpit declared the collective bargaining with Lufthansa a failure.

Collective bargaining failed: Lufthansa pilots are on strike on Friday

The union Cockpit declared the collective bargaining with Lufthansa a failure. That's why the pilots lay down their work on Friday - and paralyzed most of the air traffic. Another conflict is smoldering in the background in the group.

Lufthansa passengers have to reckon with pilot strikes again. The union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced late in the evening a day-long industrial action for this Friday, September 2nd. The board of directors decided this after intensive negotiations with the company and at the request of the collective bargaining committee, as a spokesman said. The official reason is the failed negotiations on a new collective wage agreement from the point of view of the union.

A subsequent round of exploratory talks behind closed doors and an improved offer from the company from last week did not produce any results either. A last attempt at negotiations was unsuccessful. The Cockpit Association says it is demanding salary increases of 5.5 percent in the current year and automatic inflation compensation from the coming year.

In the background, there is also a conflict about the future corporate strategy. In the past, VC had had the exact number of 325 aircraft guaranteed, which could only be flown by the approximately 5,000 captains and first officers who were subject to the group collective agreement. Under the impression of the Corona crisis, Lufthansa had terminated the corresponding agreement and started to set up a new flight operation (AOC) with lower tariff conditions under the crane logo. The new airline, known internally as "Cityline 2", is to take over numerous flights from the previous core company in European traffic.

The one-day strike is likely to lead to massive flight cancellations and thwart the travel plans of thousands of passengers. In the summer, Lufthansa canceled thousands of flights due to a lack of staff at airports and at the airline itself. That alone caused frustration among customers. With a day's notice on Thursday, the Lufthansa management could still respond to the call for a strike, which is likely to be largely followed by the well-organized pilots.

According to VC, 97.6 percent voted in favor of the labor dispute in the Lufthansa passage, and at the smaller Lufthansa Cargo it was even 99.3 percent. According to the union, participation was over 93 percent in both flight operations. Approval from more than 70 percent of all those entitled to vote was required. All Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo departures from Germany are to be struck, as VC announced. "In order to use labor disputes, Lufthansa must present a significantly improved offer," explained VC tariff boss Marcel Gröls.

The pilots' union has also prepared to strike at the largest Lufthansa subsidiary, Eurowings, with its around 100 aircraft. According to the counted ballot, 97.9 percent voted in favor of a possible labor dispute. However, a negotiation date is still pending there in the coming week, so that no specific strike date was initially given for Eurowings.

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