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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Lufthansa agrees pay increases for 19,000 cabin crew

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Around 19,000 cabin crew members in Germany will see salary increases thanks to an agreement between Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and the union UFO. New hires will see a boost of 17%.

According to the agreement, the basic monthly wage will rise by €250 ($248) on January 1, 2023, and by an extra 2.5% on July 1, 2023.

According to Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), the arrangement, which also offers flexible part-time options, will support maintaining its appeal as an employer.

“Our cabin personnel in the lower and mid-range salary groups will particularly benefit from the agreement we have reached,” commented Michael Niggemann, Chief Officer Human Resources and Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “And the flexible new work hours models offer prospects, perspectives, and appealing working terms and conditions that are closely aligned to the needs of our cabin personnel.”

According to the new collective wage agreement, starting earnings for cabin staff will rise by more than 17%, and those in the highest income grade would see an increase in their basic monthly pay of around 9%.

Given the continued need for labor in the aviation sector, employees across the Lufthansa Group in Germany have been advocating for better compensation and working conditions in 2022. Strikes by ground staff and employees of the main Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) brand and its low-cost Eurowings brand have been called in an effort to drive management into better deal-making.

In August 2022, the airline reported that it had reached “substantial” compensation agreements with 20,000 ground personnel, with check-in staff, for instance, expected to get wage increases ranging from 13.6 to 18.4%.

Although negotiations with the pilots’ union, VC, are still going on, the two parties came to a no-strike agreement after management announced it would provide salary increases up until July 2023.

Three strike days in October 2022 cost low-cost carrier Eurowings €30 million ($29.8 million). On October 27, 2022, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr stated to analysts that Eurowings had made a “decent offer” and relaxed some working conditions, but that improving the offer any further would jeopardize the low-cost business model.

“And that’s why they have not given in and that’s indeed why they were forced to reduce the size of the German fleet by five aircraft due to additional cost,” Spohr said.

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