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Monday, June 5, 2023

Lufthansa Pilots Reject Latest Pay Offer and Strike Action Could Follow

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The German flag carrier’s most recent pay offer was rejected, according to the Lufthansa Pilots Union, which is now preparing for strike action. The Vereinigung Cockpit union claimed that because the two sides were “too far apart,” a damaging walkout may happen at any time.

If negotiations with the airline utterly fail, strike action has already been overwhelmingly approved by the airline’s pilots. Nearly 98 percent of pilots at Lufthansa’s passenger airline voted in favor of strike action at the beginning of August, with a turnout of 93%.

Since then, there have been numerous in-person negotiations between the union and airline management in an effort to reach a settlement. The most recent round of negotiations, which took place over four days last week, ended in failure, but on Thursday, Lufthansa made a revised offer.

The offer was “insufficient,” according to the union’s spokesperson, Matthias Baier.

“Despite intensive discussions between our collective bargaining commission and the employer, no result could be achieved about a promising continuation of the negotiations,” Baier continued.

“Currently, we are too far apart. In addition to compensating for the real wage loss, we now need above all a sustainable solution for the remuneration structure in all occupational groups.”

A one-day “warning strike” by 20,000 ground staff at Lufthansa in late July resulted in the cancellation of 1,000 flights and the stranding of at least 134,000 passengers.

The airline soon went back to the bargaining table and came to an agreement with the Ver.di United Services Union which included pay increases ranging from 13.6% to 18.4% depending on seniority.

Additionally, Lufthansa is in salary negotiations with its cabin crew.

In November 2016, when pilots last staged a 48-hour protest, 1,700 flights were canceled. Since 2014, the German carrier’s pilots have staged 14 similar walkouts.

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