Lufthansa pilots vote for industrial action over pay

Lufthansa pilots vote for industrial action over pay

Lufthansa ground staff of Frankfurt Airport stage a warning strike over 9.5 per cent pay claim by Germany’s public sector workers union Verdi, prompting the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights and adding to travel disruptions during the busy summer travel season in Frankfurt Juli 27, 2022. — Reuters pic

Sunday, 31 Jul 2022 8:55 PM MYT

BERLIN, July 31 — Pilots at German flagship carrier Lufthansa voted today by a margin of 97.6 per cent in favour of industrial action, threatening further disruption during the busy summer travel season.

Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights and caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating holidaymakers keen to travel after Covid-19 lockdowns.

The vote does not necessarily mean a strike will be held, but it was a signal to the employer that constructive steps needed to be taken, pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) board member Marcel Groels said.

“We are showing we are ready to talk,” he added.

A spokesperson for Lufthansa said they respected the results of the vote and hoped for a constructive solution at the negotiating table.

Pilots’ union VC is demanding a 5.5 per cent pay rise this year for its pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter.

It also wants a uniform pay structure for all staff at the Lufthansa group’s airlines, which include flagship carrier Lufthansa as well as budget unit Eurowings.

Lufthansa has already been rocked by strike action by its ground staff on Wednesday, which forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

Separately, pilots at Lufthansa’s Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) unit rejected by an 80 per cent margin a contract proposal, their Aeropers labour union said today, adding that it aimed to resume negotiations with SWISS management as soon as possible.

“If management continues not to recognise the signs of the times and does not immediately offer adequate solutions, then the pilots must show the management even more clearly how dissatisfied they are,” it said without elaborating.

The current contract expired in April after management rejected a tentative deal from initial talks, Aeropers said. — Reuters