Last Monday, Simple Flying reported that the German UFO cabin crew union would announce the dates of strike action today. The union kept true to its words, and today announced that this action will start as soon as Sunday.
The UFO cabin crew union is currently in a wage dispute with Lufthansa. The strikes announced today are a culmination of this disagreement. However, what makes the whole problem even more complicated is Lufthansa’s stance on the strike action. Lufthansa last week told us that they don’t believe the UFO is qualified to represent cabin crew. As such, they added, “Strikes would, therefore, be illegal”.
Why is the UFO considering strike action?
A row regarding the pay which cabin crew receive has prompted the strike action. Last week, Daniel Flohr, Deputy Chairman of the UFO, said, “Nobody will think it’s indecent that in times of record profits we are calling for agreed settlements or a 1.8% salary increase”.
However, while the first strike announced will affect Lufthansa flights, the UFO is also calling for change at four other Lufthansa group airlines. These are Germanwings, Eurowings, Sunexpress Germany, and Lufthansa Cityline. As such, if further strikes are announced, they could target these other airlines.
Flohr today said: “At this time, we call all flight attendants and pursers at Lufthansa not to appear at work, but where there will be more work stoppages will depend solely on whether Lufthansa returns to the negotiating table”
When could the strikes happen?
The UFO has scheduled strikes with very little warning. When British Airways’ pilots went on strike they were required to give 14 days notice beforehand. The BA pilots gave more notice than was required. However, the same does not apply to Lufthansa’s cabin crew.
The UFO has announced that strikes will commence in under a week’s time. Yes, you read that correctly. Currently, only one round of strikes will be held. This will potentially see cabin crew at Frankfurt and Munich Airport walking out on Sunday the 20th of October between 6 am and 11 am. A total of five hours.
However, should the strikes go ahead, this could cause chaos for the rest of the day as aircraft and crews could then be displaced for the day’s later flights.
What does Lufthansa make of the situation?
Lufthansa previously refused to comment on the situation. However, they did tell us: “Lufthansa continues to believe that the union UFO in its current state is not entitled to represent Lufthansa Staff nor participate in collective bargaining. Strikes would, therefore, be illegal from Lufthansa’s point of view.”
When previously contacted for comment, the UFO union ignored Simple Flying’s request.
It will be interesting to see whether the strikes go ahead and if they will cause disruption. Simple Flying will, of course, keep readers up to date with the latest.
What do you make of the proposed strike? Should it go ahead, or is it illegal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!