German Lufthansa group cabin crew belonging to the UFO union are set to go on strike in a row over salaries. The move will see up to 30,000 members of cabin crew striking, however, details of the strikes will not be released until next Monday (14th of October 2019).
The UFO union represents cabin crew within Germany. Among its members are around 30,000 employees from the Lufthansa Group acting in the capacity of cabin crew. Following what the union describes as a “cold war against the cabin”, the union is now proposing industrial action.
Why propose industrial action
The UFO union is proposing the strike action in a row regarding the pay that cabin crew receive. In a German-language press release 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”.
The UFO cabin crew union represents crew across a number of brands. According to the union, these are Lufthansa CityLine, Sunexpress Germany, Germanwings, Eurowings, and of course, the main Lufthansa. In total, the union represents 30,000 members of crew across the five airlines.
In a German-language leaflet sent out to members, the union lists its demands by each German airline within the Lufthansa group. Roughly translated the demands are as follows:
- 1.8% salary increase at Lufthansa;
- 2% salary increase at Lufthansa CityLine;
- 5% salary increase at Sunexpress Germany;
- A previously negotiated pension at Eurowings;
- A matter previously the subject of strike action at Germanwings.
When will strike action take place?
The UFO has not announced when it will strike yet, only that it will strike. It has warned that full details of the strike will be announced in a weeks time on the 14th of October 2019. However, a rough translation of a leaflet sent out to members states,
“In the coming weeks, there will probably be strikes on all airlines in the LH Group.” However, the union goes on to add “The LH Group still has time to return to the negotiating table and avert strikes.”
The union said: “They [passengers] must in the coming weeks calculate that flights booked with LH airlines will be cancelled.” Adding: “As a customer of Lufthansa, ask why [the airline] refuses the most normal thing in the world and does not sit down with the representatives of [its] employees to settle this conflict.”
Lufthansa declined to comment regarding the strikes. However, the airline 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. We have the question of whether UFO currently fulfils the characteristics of a trade union in a so called “Statusverfahren” (Court Case that defines the status of the union) before the Hessian State Labour Court. The first hearing date in this procedure has been set for 30 April 2020.”
Do you have flights booked with Lufthansa in the coming weeks? Are you worried about the industrial action? Will you be striking as part of the action? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!