A growing dispute over working hours and rest intervals between hundreds of Eurowings pilots and the German airline may reportedly lead to a three-day strike beginning on Monday.
Following the Vereinigung Cockpit (VCannouncement )’s on Friday night that its members would go on strike at midnight on Monday, October 17, and wouldn’t return to work until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 19, thousands of passengers on the budget airline operated by the Lufthansa Group may be grounded.
“This strike would not be necessary if Eurowings negotiated with us on an equal footing,” complained the union’s spokesperson Matthias Baier on Friday night. Baier accused the airline of “playing for time” as the two sides lock horns over pilot’s work hours.
“The company’s practice of regularly planning employees up to the legal limits leads to a considerable burden that must be mitigated,” the union explained.
“Due to the completely inadequate offers, employees have no choice but to express their displeasure about the workload in their airline through a strike and to build up pressure,” Baier continued.
The “Flight Time Limitations,” which set maximum duty periods, absolute flying hour caps, and minimum rest requirements, already provide protection for Eurowings pilots. However, it is generally agreed that the flight crew should not be working beyond these guidelines.
The VC union demands that Eurowings sign a legally binding contract with more stringent duty and flight hours requirements and longer guaranteed rest intervals.
At the beginning of October, pilots already went on a one-day strike over the problem, leaving some 30,000 passengers stranded. According to Eurowings, it was still possible to complete almost half of its scheduled operations.