06 September, 2022

Lufthansa rushes to prevent a second pilots strike over pay

Photo Lufthansa
The largest German airline, Lufthansa has advised that it is looking to improve its pay rise offer to pilots u the current dispute as it seeks to avoid another crippling strike later this week.  

The Vereinigung Cockpit union wanted a 5.5% raise for its members this year and an inflation-busting 8.2% increase in 2023. Pilots are also seeking a new pay and holiday structure.

The airline says those measures would increase its staffing costs by about 40%, or around 900 million euros over two years. It has instead offered a one-off increase of 900 euros ($900), amounting to a 5% increase for senior pilots and an 18% increase for those starting the profession.

A union representing pilots announced plans for a walkout Wednesday and Thursday while calling on the company to makes a “serious” offer in talks over pay increases. It would be the second strike in a week after pilots staged a walkout Friday that led to hundreds of flights being cancelled.

Lufthansa said it would have to decide by noon which flights to cancel in the coming days and a strike would have “massive consequences” for its flight plan.

In a statement Tuesday, Lufthansa’s personnel chief Michael Niggemann accused the union of seeking to escalate the labour dispute.

“We will nevertheless do everything to achieve success with an improved offer despite the time pressure,” he said.

Strong unions have traditionally ensured good conditions for workers in Germany, using strikes to press their demands in labour disputes.