German airline Eurowings has reached an agreement with trade union Verdi to secure the jobs of around 2,000 cabin crew and ground staff. The low-cost carrier will avoid layoffs until March 2022 and also plans to recruit former Lufthansa cabin crew who recently lost their jobs.
Eurowings strikes agreement with staff
Like almost every airline globally, Eurowings has considered staff cuts to mitigate its losses during the COVID pandemic. After months of negotiations, the airline has finalized an agreement with Verdi, the trade union representing its workers. Around 2,000 ground staff and cabin crew will have their jobs secured until 31 March 2022 in return for pension, bonus and holiday concessions.
According to airliners.de, cabin crew will:
- Forego 5% of their Christmas and holiday bonuses
- Give up a 100EUR bonus
- Suspend contributions to their pension fund
A separate agreement is in place with Eurowings’ ground staff, which includes a reduction in vacation time and relinquishing their 13th salary for 2021. While Eurowings ground staff have by-in-large accepted the agreement, cabin crew have until 22 January to vote.
Verdi is Germany’s second-largest trade union and represents around 2 million individuals. Negotiations between Verdi and Eurowings have been “intensive” and have dragged on for months. Verdi representative, Marvin Reschinsky, said of the agreement struck with Eurowings,
“After tough negotiations that lasted for months, we succeeded in safeguarding jobs at Eurowings on the ground and in the cabin through balanced contributions.”
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Eurowings plans to hire ex-Lufthansa cabin crew
As well as securing the jobs of ground and cabin crew, Eurowings is set to bring in additional flight attendants this year. With mass vaccinations underway worldwide, the airline anticipates a busy summer period and plans to hire an initial 130 extra flight attendants to cope with demand.
Eurowings will look to recruit from within the Lufthansa Group by offering the roles to ex-Lufthansa cabin crew that have lost, or are set to lose, their jobs due to the pandemic. The move was confirmed by Mr. Reschinsky, who said,
“We are also committed to giving as many cabin employees as possible from the Lufthansa Group a professional career by hiring them at Eurowings.”
An optimistic 2021 for the airline
Despite dealing with heavy losses due to the pandemic, Eurowings is well-placed to bounce back in 2021. The airline has already expanded its European operations this year and is looking forward to a profitable 2021. With some of its biggest competitors, including Ryanair and easyJet, leaving key locations including Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, Eurowings will be able to operate on more favorable terms.
Eurowings has sought to encourage air travel by offering passengers free COVID insurance. The airline recently announced it will paint an Airbus A320 in a special livery to thank its loyal team for their efforts during the pandemic. The plane will stop by various Eurowings hubs across Europe as it undergoes maintenance, with plans to reintroduce it into service by Q2 2021.
Are you looking forward to flying again over the summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.