Lufthansa pilots vote to stage two-day strike from Wednesday in Germany
The chaos in airports in Germany continues: just four days after their first strike on Friday, Lufthansa pilots have voted in favour of staging a second two-day strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week. However, the union has said that the industrial action could be averted by a “serious” offer from Germany’s flagship airline.
Lufthansa pilots to stage second two-day strike at German airports
Pilots belonging to the Vereinigung Cockpit union voted on Monday evening to stage a second round of strikes in their ongoing dispute with Lufthansa over salaries. Pilots on Lufthansa passenger flights have been called on to strike between midnight on Wednesday, September 7 and 11.59pm on Thursday, September 8, while cargo pilots will strike on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Lufthansa subsidiary airlines like Eurowings, SWISS, Austrian and Brussels are not included.
“We would have wished for it differently,” said Marcel Gröls, chairperson of collective bargaining policy at the union, in a press statement, “but unfortunately the forces of inertia at Lufthansa are considerable. It is now important that the parties come to the negotiating table quickly and with the required seriousness.” The two sides are due to meet again on Tuesday to try to thrash out an agreement.
Responding to the announcement, a Lufthansa spokesperson said, “We very much regret that the union is continuing on the path of escalation.”
Pilot union is demanding 5,5-percent pay rise
The previous round of strikes on Friday last week forced Lufthansa to cancel almost all of its flights in Germany, particularly those travelling through its hubs in Munich and Frankfurt. Over 800 flights were cancelled, affecting more than 130.000 passengers, and racking up losses of more than 32 million euros for Lufthansa.
Vereinigung Cockpit is demanding a 5,5-percent pay rise for the 5.000 pilots it represents, alongside automatic inflation adjustments for 2023. Lufthansa recently revealed that it had offered a blanket raise of 900 euros per employee at the last round of negotiations, an offer that the union rejected. The airline has said that the union’s demands are unreasonable and don’t take into account the current economic climate, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.