The strike announced by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union for September 2 from 00:01 a.m. to 23:59 p.m. CEST will have a massive impact on flight operations – and that in several federal states during the main return travel period at the end of the school holidays. Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo departures at German airports are affected.
Lufthansa has to cancel 800 flights at the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich for Friday, and some flights will also be canceled this Thursday, as the carrier announced in a broadcast. 130.000 passengers are expected to be affected. With a view to the coming weekend, the end of the holidays in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, Lufthansa is working flat out to normalize flight operations as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, the effects of the strike can still lead to individual flight cancellations or delays on Saturday and Sunday. Passengers affected by cancellations will be informed immediately and, if possible, rebooked on alternative flights. Eurowings and Eurowings Discover are not affected by the strike and are scheduled to take place.
“We have absolutely no understanding of the VC's call for a strike. The employer side made a very good and socially balanced offer - despite the lasting effects of the Corona crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation is at the expense of many thousands of customers," says Michael Niggemann, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Specifically, the group has submitted an offer with a term of 18 months, in which Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo pilots receive a total of 900 euros more basic remuneration per month in two stages. A career starter as a co-pilot receives more than 18 percent additional basic remuneration over the term, a captain in the final stage five percent. Alternatively, the VC was offered to redistribute all or part of this volume, for example for structural changes such as adjustments to the remuneration table. In addition, the VC group is offering to jointly conclude the so-called Perspective Agreement (PPV), which guarantees the Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.
For the Association cockpit the offer made is inadequate: "In order to avert labor disputes, Lufthansa must submit a significantly improved offer," says Marcel Gröls, chairman of collective bargaining policy at VC. "We're too far apart at the moment. In addition to compensating for the loss in real wages, what we now need above all is a future-proof solution for the remuneration structure in all professional groups.”