More strikes looming as Lufthansa pilots vote for industrial action
Just days after Lufthansa ground workers went on strike, forcing Germany’s flag carrier airline to cancel more than 1.000 flights, the pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit has voted in favour of industrial action, paving the way for another strike.
Lufthansa pilots signal willingness to strike over salary dispute
Further disruption, delays and cancellations could be on the cards for airports in Germany, after 97,6 percent of members of the country’s pilot union voted in favour of industrial action on Sunday evening.
According to Vereinigung Cockpit board member Marcel Groels, the result does not guarantee that a strike will go ahead, but it signals to employers that steps need to be taken to avoid one. “We now need a modern and fair internationally competitive compensation structure in all occupational groups,” Groels told Reuters.
“This is a signal that cannot be ignored,” the union added in a statement, saying that it was going to reopen negotiations with Lufthansa with “even more support” from its members.
More Lufthansa strikes possible this summer in Germany
The dispute revolves around salaries for the approximately 5.500 pilots working for Lufthansa’s passenger and freight operations, all of whom are represented by Vereinigung Cockpit. The union is demanding a 5,5 percent rise this year, and for wages to be tied to inflation in future years. The union is also asking for uniform pay structures across the Lufthansa group, which includes its subsidiary airline Eurowings.
Should negotiations fail, pilots would likely go on strike sometime in mid-August, during the peak holiday season.
Last week, Lufthansa ground staff staged a one-day walkout as part of an ongoing salary dispute, forcing the airline to cancel over 1.000 flights on Tuesday and Wednesday. While the dispute among pilots rumbles on, the airline still hasn’t reached an agreement with ground workers, with the next round of collective bargaining scheduled for August 3 and 4. More ground staff strikes could be called if these negotiations fail.